Love is … (the real life version)

By Ellen Fussell

Many moons ago, I happily walked down the aisle to marry my best friend. We had a simple garden wedding and the May weather had rolled out a spectacularly sunny and warm day after a week of solid rain. Our no-frills ceremony included a traditional bible reading given by my mother, a reading very common in weddings.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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 perseveres.”

In truth we picked that reading because it was short, in plain English, sounded nice and allowed us to have a small religious aspect to our ceremony. That’s it.

But 16 years down the track, I have realised how fitting that reading has been to our union. I am proud to say we have an amazing relationship. Founded on both passion and friendship; grown through disagreements, challenges and achievements; and cemented by mutual respect and appreciation, without restricting how we have both changed over time.

If I were to get married again today though, I think I would write my own reading. It would go something like this.

‘Love is when you let me climb into bed and warm my cold hands and toes on you. Love is making cups of tea and coffee or bringing a meal just how you like it. It is going to the shops and buying some clothes, shoes, a Hotwheels car or Lego minifig that makes the other person smile.

‘Love is when you have a towel held up waiting for me when I climb out of the shower on a cold day. It’s when there are no secrets between us, ever. Even what seems inconsequential and trivial is shared.

‘Love is that you see what makes me happy, and are simply grateful that it is so. It is that I know what you love to do, and perform scheduling magic to make sure there is time for both of us to do these things. It is the look of recognition that passes briefly between us when a song plays from the soundtrack of our lives.

‘Love is that you don’t care that the housework has fallen behind (as long as you can find clean socks) because I have been too busy living instead. It’s that you always have my back when the going gets tough, and that sometimes you know you just have to let me cry.

‘Love is hard work, but it is also the greatest gift I have both given and received.’

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