Dear Love

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{This month I am joining Susannah Conway's April Love project, a series of daily love letters, and although my intent is to participate each day I know that in reality I may not achieve this objective.  I have been trying to think of a novel way to participate, and have decided the best thing to do is wait and see what arises from each prompt.  Dear Love is the first of the prompts.  I will be filing each of these under the category "Love Letters" and am curious to see what I have accumulated by the end of the month.  I'm glad you'll be joining me on this adventure!}

Dear Love,

So many words of praise have been written about you.  So many images arise when people invoke your name.  Hearts and flowers.  Birds and bees.  Roses and chocolates.  

But Love, I have known you for forty plus years and I know the truth.

You are more than love notes and soft whispers of endearment and happily ever afters.  You are more than dew kissed mornings and moonlit nights.  You are...dare I say it?...

Work. 

Yes, work.  A willingness to make space for growing pains, allow space for individuality, to stay strong when hard times occur (which happens to every couple at some point or another)...

Dear Love, you showed me that you can love someone and not like them very much at the same time.  That you can think 'black' while he is thinking 'white' and somehow, with patience, you both finally agree on 'gray'.  That there will be times when you will grow so far apart that you are unsure if you will find your way back to center again, but with time and effort somehow you do.  

Love, you taught me that what is essential is not so much physical attraction (although that does help) or having shared interests (although that, too, is a plus) but rather a willingness to respect and honor each other's individuality as well as a desire to build a relationship based on trust, compassion, acceptance and commitment.

For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Love, you taught me that, along with patience, humor is essential.  And a willingness to admit when I am wrong.  

You taught me the importance of saying "I'm sorry" as well as how important it is to forgive.

Love, because of you I learned how to accept my love for who he is (warts and all) and I take comfort in knowing that he does the same.  Because of you I know the joy of being married to my best friend.  

You are hard work, but work that reaps so many lovely rewards. 

Dear love, thank you.