"Faith makes all things possible… Love makes all things easy."
This quote by American evangelist Dwight L. Moody is written on a little sticky note on the inside of the front door our Seattle condo. My wife and I became married in September of 2015 and in the days leading up to our union, my wife's sisters raided our home and peppered it with countless messages of love. And of those notes, many still remain in their original places a year and a half later.
On one of our bedroom doors are the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
On the stereo are the words of American writer Joseph Campbell, "Love is a friendship set to music."
On one our vases are the words of French poet Victor Hugo, "Life is the flower for which love is the honey."
On our wine rack are the words of American journalist Helen Rowland, "Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense."
On the microwave are the words of Irish songwriter Samuel Lover, "Come live in my heart, and pay no rent."
Above the fireplace are the words of American columnist Ann Landers, "Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses."
And on the wall in the most central part of our home are the words of French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
I simply love these messages of love. And I love that they each describe love in a different way. For a word that carries an emotion that we have all felt in one way or another, it never ceases to amaze me just how many perspectives exist. And with every perspective comes a different story.
One that comes to mind is the story of my wife's grandparents...
In November of 2016, we celebrated the life of my wife's grandmother, Ann, who had recently passed away. Ann was born in 1924. Married twenty years later, she enjoyed seventy-two years of marriage before leaving this earth. And over the course of those seven decades, a wonderful immediate and extended family emerged—one that I am honored to be a part of.
When the family gathered together in November to celebrate Ann's life, my wife's grandfather told a story of when he and Ann were first dating. He spoke of a bench that was near the home where Ann grew up. And after going on dates, the couple would meander over to the bench to, in his words, smooch before Grandpa Tom returned her home.
I found it so special to hear the story firsthand and in the company of his surrounding family. The story was an account from over seventy years ago and as Tom was telling it, I could see his eyes dancing as he remembered the moments where he was courting his love as if they just occurred.
Seventy years may seem like a vast amount of time, but in the words of French author André Maurois, "A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short."
As the old saying goes, time flies when your are having fun. And although I do not hope for a quick lifetime, I do look forward to a life continually filled with enjoyment, kindness, equality and of course, love.
Life is too short and precious to accept anything otherwise.
(Pictured above are my wife's grandparents, Ann and Tom Robins, back in the day.)