What is Love?

Since I badmouth Ed a lot, you’re probably wondering why we’re even together. And together for quite a few years, I might add. We hit our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in February 2019, but we’ve been together since 1990. Not too bad considering the fact we were already past our prime when we got together.

From his viewpoint, he puts up with me harassing him because I’m a great cook. And he loves to eat. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how he stays so durn skinny as much as he eats. He said once he was upset because he’d gained five pounds since high school. I told him I gained five pounds since we started the conversation. So, as long as I cook, he’ll put up with a lot, and if there’s chicken and dumplings involved, I can get away with pretty much anything.

So, that explains him. What about me? Well…he likes sweet tea. I’ve tried to convince him that saccharin isn’t good for him, since he insists on using the pink packages to sweeten his tea if the restaurant doesn’t serve it sweetened. I told him once it caused cancer in laboratory rats. His reply? “If I run into any rats, I’ll warn them.” Sigh.

But! That explains it. He makes me laugh.I spend a lot of time being tickled by him. (Figuratively, of course.) His “six of one, a dozen of another” expression always brings a chuckle and an eye roll. His Edisms are endless, as are my corrections of them. And, he’s agreeable. I’ve been known to say, “You know you’re an idiot, right?” He’s very self-aware, because he’ll readily agree with me.

We rescued three beautiful kittens from our front yard and brought them inside. (Sans mittens!) Friskie is his cat. Gray and very soft girl who likes to spend time with him. Bobby is mine, when he wants to be. He’s black and white, with a mustache, and bunny soft. Hard to keep my hands off him. He only has part of his tail and it’s crooked. Pretty sure it was bunged up inside his mother, as was his head. Bobby is a big fraidy cat and runs in circles a lot, apparently confused by whatever. He’s my special kitty. Frankie is the last one. He’s gray, white, brownish in places, long-haired and soft. At the very tip of his tail, it bends to a 90-degree angle. He’s special, too, but just his tail, not his head.

When they were finally old enough to leave the nursery (which is my craft room when not used for babies needing extra attention,) they eagerly ran all over the house harassing the other million kitty babies in here. One day Ed came in and said, “You’re not going to believe it, but there’s another kitten on the front porch. It almost looks like it came from the same litter.” This I had to see, so I went outside to investigate. The kitten was determined to be an inside kitty and made a mad dash for the front door. Ed made a quick grab and snatched it up, telling it that it was an outside kitty. He also told me the cat had tried to get in the house earlier, but he stopped him. Because I’m the smart one in the family, I told him to give me the kitten. Yep! Somehow, Frankie had managed to escape and had been outside all night. I informed my idiot husband that this was our inside baby. He refused to believe me until I told him to feel the tail. The look on his face was priceless. He spent the next few hours apologizing to Frankie and trying to love on him, but Frankie wanted nothing to do with him. Probably because I was whispering to my kitty that Daddy was a big doofus and hated him.

To me, that’s love. No, not being able to harass your husband and for him to still love you, but to laugh with someone. Like when we were at Jim’s one time. We eat there a lot, and if they have it, I bring home a piece of their Boston Cream Pie. It’s the best! One time we were enjoying our dinner and a woman jumped up and threw her drink on the man she was with. Then she stormed out. He was so embarrassed. Can’t blame him, which is why Ed and I tried to quietly chuckle and not roll on the floor in laughter. Once we got in the car, we were laughing all the way home.

Another time, we were sitting by the window and cop cars started arriving at the gas station across the street. They shortly had the whole area cordoned off. Evidently someone decided that would be a good place to rob. Ed’s response? “Cool! A dinner and a show.”

There is so much in life that isn’t funny, it’s nice to share life with someone who manages to find the humor in most things. When we first got together, he was an adult. That didn’t last long. Living with a wife who acts like she’s two most of the time changed him. Now he enjoys watching animated movies almost as much as I do. Unless a Star Trek rerun, or Live PD is on, then I’m on my own.

Sometimes I look at couples I know and wonder why they’re together. Some of them have been together for years, and they just don’t seem to have much in common. They go their separate ways, and almost live separate lives. Other friends of mine who have been together forever seem to spend all their time together. Of course, we never know what happens behind closed doors, but it seems to me like they would be happier. There’s something to be said about going through life with your best friend beside you.

I have a woman I adopted as my sister. Since her mother was my “other” mother, it only made sense, and we couldn’t be closer if we were blood related. Even if Linda does live a state away, she’s always in my thoughts and heart. Her husband died a year ago this month. They were together as long as I’ve known them, which is most of my life. They were two who were always together, and life is hard for her now. Doubly hard, since she buried her brother today. Understandable! I can’t envision life without Ed, because who would kill bugs and who would I harass? It was hard enough when my first husband died, and we’d only been together about ten years. Knowing that she’ll see Pat again hasn’t made it any easier on Linda. Life is hard. Love is hard.

Pat was a lot like Ed, because he always made me laugh. Except when he tried to drown me in the swimming pool when he was teaching me how to scuba dive. Or when he gave us directions in Shreveport and we ended up touring the entire city, when one street cut straight through to where we needed to be. Even if he was directionally challenged, he always made me feel special. When someone you love moves on, it leaves a big hole in your heart and it’s not one that easily heals. I think we’ve all lost people we wish were still here.

So, what is love? It’s so many different things that we’ll never come up with a definitive answer. To me, it’s someone who makes me laugh. To Linda it’s going through life with her soul mate and being totally lost without them. To others, it’s someone who’s there when they need them and not if they don’t.

To God? That one’s easy. Love is sacrifice. He readily gave His son solely for us. Because of love. I think about that sometimes. It’s so hard when we lose someone we love, and He freely gave up His only son. I imagine God was shedding tears when Jesus was on that cross. I would also imagine that was the longest three days ever, and I imagine He kept telling himself His son would be home soon. The only good thing about losing someone we love is knowing we’ll see them again, even if it’s rarely only three days later. How people who don’t believe in Heaven or have a loved one pass on that wasn’t saved survives a loss escapes me.

That’s what we’ll have to hang on to…that it’s not really the end. Sure, they’re not here with us, but they’re in a place far better than anything we could imagine. Until we see them again, that will have to suffice. Knowing they’re the lucky ones. I also imagine my Mom looks down when I’m missing her and wishing she were here. I can almost see her shaking her head and saying, “I love you, but not enough to come back, so buck up and carry on. You can do this. I’ll be waiting for you.” It’s not the way we want it, and it’s not what we would do, given our option, but it’s the way it is. And for now, I guess knowing that God loves us enough to reunite us with those we love will have to be enough. We can do this!

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2 thoughts on “What is Love?”

  1. This is so beautiful I had to read it twice,and funny at the same time I chuckled so many times while reading it. Love means so many different things to so many different people I think that’s pretty cool. Also so sad that some people never even get the chance to experience it.

    1. Love will sneak up on you when you’re not looking. You just have to be open to the concept. And not settle. When it’s right, you’ll know!

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