Almost eight and a half years ago, I counted the hours until I could walk down that aisle in my white dress and say "I do" to my best friend. In my head, parades marched and gongs sounded and fireworks whizzed overhead and the queen of England stopped by to take tea with me (a fantasy that has yet to come true).
I loved the guy. I still do.
I remember a conversation with a friend about fireworks. Not the ones that you light, then run like crazy to take cover. The other ones - butterflies in the stomach, the literal crinkle that walks up your spine when his hand brushes yours, the blush that heats your cheeks when you meet his eyes.
Blood pounds, pheromones fly.
My friend insisted that love = fireworks. Without the fireworks, it's just - like. Friendship. No excitement. The sludge of walking, every day, with a nobody.
Fireworks are important. Sure, I totally agree.
But love is so much more than fireworks.
Tim and I were great friends before we even thought of fireworks. The bop-him-in-the-bicep-hey-good-buddy type of friends. Then, after awhile, love sorta sneaked up on us. We got fireworks, yes, but not always. Certainly not when I first laid eyes on the guy. We didn't fall in love, like bumbling klutzes who happened to trip over a log and fell into each other. We chose to love.
That love can be a thief, stealing in when you're not expecting him. Sometimes it's a decision made after a heated argument. Often, it hides in the words, "I forgive you." It can be a man's wrinkled hand weaving his fingers through the aging fingers of the same hand it's held for fifty years.
Eight and a half years in, a lifetime to go.
Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8a