Love Lists


A decade or so ago, a hurricane buffeted my marriage.

Storms of anger and hurt blew through, the kinds that hit every marriage and shakes its foundations, but I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t know there was an “after,” and my marriage dangled by a tenuous thread, swaying with leftover ill winds.

And, so we each made a list.

Why we loved the other.

I don’t know whether one of us had seen the idea in a magazine, or why we decided to do it. It was a long time ago. We were tentatively making our way back to each other.

The list was not easy for me. Top of mind were all the reasons my husband was unloveable. That would have been an easy list. But, to play fair, I thought hard. And then, they came to me. Slowly at first, and then more quickly. The reasons that drew me to him in the first place; the reasons I would stay.

Years have gone by.

And the other day, I found the list and read it again. The person who wrote that list seems alien. My list may have said more about me than about my husband. I would have a hard time re-creating such a list today.

Not because I don’t love my husband. I do. But the love has gotten so vast and so deep that it is almost diffused. The forest is so vast and deep, I’ve lost sight of the individual trees. Not loving my husband would be like not breathing. I don’t think about it; it just is. The individual characteristics and quirks that stood out all those years ago have merged into one: the beloved.

Still, it was fun to read the list again. It was fun to see my husband as “other” again. Because the reasons are still valid. I would, and I do, all over again.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I wish everyone love, no matter who it is you love. The kind of love that can rock you like a hurricane. The kind of love that makes you lose yourself, and the kind of love that helps you find yourself.