Love is a complicated infrastructure.
A thing you are either building up or letting fall into decay.
What makes it strong are the deeds done in the everyday walk of life.
What makes it beautiful is two unique people coming together and making their own unique kind of love.
It doesn’t come from textbooks or formulas, or to-do lists.
You’ve probably seen my parents from afar, either online here or maybe speaking at a conference somewhere. But I’ve lived around them for a long time, so in case you were wondering . . .
Here are a few things you might not know about my parents’ love:
They talk about everything.
Even tiny, inconsequential things.
Sometimes I wonder at them as they sit chatting away about a subject that seems to be of little importance. They mull it over, and in between second cups of coffee, they look at it from their different angles.
It’s a slow process, and I must confess, sometimes, as an observer, I grow impatient. Why talk about the small things of life? Schedules? Planning? Little worries and concerns?
And then it came clear to me one day . . . that to them, this was sharing life.
There are so few mountain top experiences in this life, and they could not wait at the bottom hungering for them.
They find their love, on Monday and Wednesday, and the week-end.
They make their love talking about the smallest of things.
They live their life confiding the tiniest thoughts.
They like going everywhere together.
Even to tiny, inconsequential places.
Again, this seems to me to be taken somewhat too far.
Going to feed the chickens? Let me come with you! Going to work in the garden? I’ll come.
No matter how small the destination happens to be – either of them is usually willing to tag along. It could be a trip to Home Depot, it could be to Costco. It could be to the tree nursery, or to the bank.
And all this takes place in little, dry, dusty Central Oregon.
But by their attitudes, you’d think they were going out for a round of champagne kisses.
They love touching each other.
Even in tiny, inconsequential places.
Dad and Mom like touching each other. Of course, since there are eight of us kids pretty much always around, they have to keep it toned down. But it seems to me that little touches are a thing too. Maybe brushing the back of a tired head, or stroking hair that’s gone a bit flat at the end of the day.
Sometimes I see them touching – without touching – by a look. It’s really understated most of the time.
It’s a slow burn of love, and it keeps on from day to day.
They take care of each other’s hearts.
Even in tiny, inconsequential ways.
If Dad is feeling worn out, Mom will often encourage him to go do something she knows will help him relax. Sometimes mom is feeling stressed, and you’ll hear dad telling her to retire earlier than normal in the evening.
If one is down, the other will hurry to support. It’s like a friend thing.
Sometimes I get the feeling that they are just best friends. Not so much just lovers.
And they get mad at each other . . . even sometimes for tiny, inconsequential things.
But all that never lasts long.
Their love is not perfect. It’s something much sexier than that.