“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough . . .”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
I am well aware that Valentine’s Day is a commercial ploy. Our love for that significant other should be declared throughout the year, and not just once or twice a year. I have written before that love is often over used for insignificant reasons and the watering down of the word has lead to its abuse. I was unaware in my “younger and more vulnerable years” about the depths and breadth of love or if it even possessed boundaries. With an extremely patient wife, I learned that love is a verb, not a noun. It has movement. It is looking beyond personal needs and into the heart of another person. Love is listening to the other person’s dreams, wanting to do everything in your power to make those things happen. It is crying hysterically or laughing uncontrollably and not being the least bit embarrassed when others look at the two of you like you’re insane. In a large crowd, love is being able to flash three fingers to that person, meaning “I love you,” and three fingers returning with a little smile. Sometimes speaking is not required, just being near the person is plenty comfort. There is a danger to such raw exposure of the heart, while suddenly realizing that being that vulnerable is a new level of depth that cannot be expressed in words. When the end of your days finally arrives, you can draw your last breath in peace, knowing that you loved deeply and were truly loved, and that is more than enough.