How Do You Define Love?

I guess I can write about love due to my life experiences. After loving the same man for over 30 years, I wish to write about what exactly love means to me. 

Love and romance are not always the same. Those who love romantically will often follow a few romantic ideas, but the lack of “romantic” activities does not always mean the absence of love. Also, romantic behavior doesn’t always mean love.

My husband isn’t a “romantic” as such, yet he shows how much he loves me in several ways. He brings me roses for no reason except that he loves me, a man who doesn’t believe in presenting flowers does it for his wife just to put a smile on her face. He wakes up to rub my leg when a cat falls on the bed and lands on my already-aching calf. He pushes himself to go with me somewhere even though he doesn’t want to go. He, who doesn’t like giving Christmas gifts, makes adjustments for me to get a cute winter cape for Christmas (even if it didn’t reach in time).

So what is love? It’s setting the loved one’s needs and wishes above ourselves. Love is something as ordinary as taking the baby’s two o’clock feeding so that the wife can sleep. It’s carrying a bouquet for someone even if we think flowers are a misuse of money. Expressing love takes many forms.

I wrote and gave a series of poems to my husband. All of them reflect what love means to me and here is one of them.

Hymn of Love

A hymn of love I try
In the murmur of the breeze
Tangling the leaflets and sending
Them whirling through my dreams.
A hymn of love I perceive
In the fresh cast of sun-down,
Shining in the yellow clouds
Echoed in my mind.
A hymn of love I sense
In the gentle drops of rain
Driving down the windowpane,
Cleansing insecurities from my memory.
A hymn of love I believe
In the mellowness of a touch
Entering into the depths of me,
Bringing me a part of him.

Love is that connection that cannot be broken except by betrayal by a partner, and if he or she deceives then love was not there from one side of the relationship. An elderly woman said to me before my wedding day, “When the time comes when you feel you no longer love him, keeping playing and acting as if you do. You’ll be shocked how fast love does return, for it was just hiding for a bit.”

Now I’m that elderly woman, and I understand precisely what she meant.

I miss him. I have been bringing him flowers for the past two years at City Road Cemetery in Sheffield. Talking about love – Yes. We still love each other. I write this as I finish baking his favourite Caramel soda bread.

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