Love is probably one of the most misused words in our language. Love is not an absolute feeling that you can turn on and off, it’s intangible and often ephemeral. I can rattle off a handful of people who are in my life that I love. It’s a squishy sort of love, though. It has no substance where I can quantify it. How I feel about each person is different, yet it all is thrown into the bag called “love”.
I might feel differently if I were single and 26 and having romantic relationships again, I don’t know.
At 59, though, with a mother and mother-in-law both in memory care facilities, and the very unromantic duties of selling a house that has been in Hubby’s family for 68 years, and fretting about wills, legalities, and paying bills and taxes, the dog-hair-covered floor and the crumb-grease-covered kitchen counter are for practical purposes only, not for mad, passionate lovemaking.
Hubby goes off in the morning for tai chi, skiing, ping-pong and swimming at his health club, watches sports in the evenings, and once a week plays bridge with the guys. Three days a week he works part time as a college tutor.
I, on the other hand, wake up, blog, meditate, walk my dog, and spend the rest of my day getting high and reading, and working on my stretching and yoga.
We get together for gaming when he’s in the mood. Whenever he wants, he comes into my office or bedroom and rattles off some pet peeve or funny story about something that happened to him.
We don’t do candy anymore. We used to, but chocolate and sugar are not worth the price to my sugar level and his blood pressure.
So in that bag of candy hearts representing the word “love”, where does Hubby fit in? He’s way past love. He’s my right arm. He’s here and present, for good or bad. And he accepts the good and bad in me. I’m hardly wifey material. We’re more roommates now than we are lovers. I lost my ability to make love when I had my cancer treatments. He’s had to accept that change in our marriage and is ok with that. In many ways he’s not the husband I thought I wanted, but I’m ok with that too. Because now, exactly the way he is, he’s grown to be a part of my comfort zone. We have no quarrels because nothing is a surprise anymore. We can almost predict what the other is going to say or do at any given time.
He gives me complete freedom to be me, and I do him as well. We don’t judge each other’s choices, and don’t interfere with each other’s journeys to live our lives as individuals (I’m sure there are exceptions, but I can’t recall them).
Today is going to come and go without chocolates, cards, or “Happy Valentine’s Day” wishes. It’s not that we don’t love each other, it’s just that there is no special day that we need to remind ourselves to love and respect each other. To us this is just another day. The only difference is that we’re stuck at home waiting to be hit with another blizzard.