How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
You are the love of my life, even if sometimes I say otherwise. I couldn’t ever imagine what my life would be like if you and I weren’t together, nor could I ever imagine what would happen if you were ever taken out of my life now. There are many things that make me love you; your sense of humor and its ability to both drive me crazy and make me smile, the way your eyes light up when you’re excited about something, the way you perfectly balance my flaws with your strengths, your sense of responsibility and selflessness, how madly and quickly you fell for me, and all of the sacrifices you have made so we could be happy.
I don’t know what it is about you that I first loved. We’ve known each other a long time. In high school, you were cute enough, but I distanced myself from you for many reasons I’ll never quite understand. When we met once again, in 2001, you were so sweet to me and caring when I needed it. You helped me put my life back together, to find myself in my own internal storm, to understand what real love is and what it is to love and be loved.
It’s always funny how God’s plan works out and how two people that are so different can work together like we do. Where I’m used to a big family, you were an only child and, until now, haven’t had to share. That has been a challenge for you! Where you are generally easy-going and relaxed, I am typically tightly wound and easy to obsess over insignificant details. You have taught me a lot about going with the flow! Where I often like to fly by the seat of my pants and not overcomplicate life with thoughts of the future, you prefer a scheduled, structured way of life. This has been a source of many clashes for us, but we’ve always worked it out.
In our differences, we also have many similarities. We both love being with each other and our family, even if it means crazy trips to the grocery store or uneventful evenings at home, we like to do it together. We both have a sense of adventure and use it to try new things, even if we aren’t totally excited by the idea initially. We both put our family first and sacrifice much for the good of our family.
Without you in my life, I don’t know if I would know the joy of being a mother or how wonderful it feels to be loved unconditionally - both by you and by our boys. I don’t know where I would be right now, since I moved back to Michigan to be with you. I don’t know what my life would be like - probably lonely and chaotic. I don’t think I could be as lucky as I was when you decided that you wanted to be with me.