Thank You

His fingertips are clutching your hand. He’s not even looking up at you as he makes his stocky, imbalanced, practicing steps, but all his trust rests in the knowledge that you will not put a foot awrong. You love him.

She’s shaking, torn between great, chilled shudders and the burning lethargy of fever. She’s tossing to and fro, miserably uncomfortable, but whenever you get a chance, you wipe her face with the cold cloth you hold, softly humming to her. You love her.

You’re sitting in the library with her, giggling about something silly. In moments of quiet, you listen to her deams and plan to travel the world together. And you both mean it, too. You love her.

You’re walking down the aisle, your eyes locked with the man you’re going to marry. He’s nervous, awed, in love. You flush shyly as all eyes turn upon you, but you can’t help but smile at him. You love him.

She’s huddled against your chest, as if your arms and body are the only earthly shield she needs. You feel the dampness of her tears spreading across your shirt, but you just hold her all the tighter. You love her.

It’s the very first time you’ve seen a baby delivered. You’re tense, your eyes wide as you watch him slip into the world, caught carefully by a steady pair of hands. Somehow, when his first cry rings through the room, you can’t help but begin to cry. You love him.

And now I’m staring into your eyes, and all at once, I see the steady, protective love of one watching over their baby.

I see the aching agony of one holding an intense love who cannot help their darling in times of pain.

I see the affectionate, adventurous, hopeful love of a friend who really cares.

I see the powerful and enduring love man and wife share.

I see the strong, gentle love you’ve shown so often when someone felt shattered.

And I see the love that allows you to be awed and to fall before God’s Creation.

You didn’t have to love me when the petals of my flower were closed and not ready to open. You didn’t have to love me when I was weak. You didn’t have to love me when I was ready to begin my journey. You didn’t have to love me when I found someone to share that journey with. You didn’t have to love me when the world thought it had broken me.

But you did.

Thank you for loving me, because you didn’t have to.

Now as I finally better understand your love, I realize my words could never express enough gratitude, let alone give back what you have given me. So read this letter of mine to you and know that the words of my heart desire to understand the wonderfulness you are, and the wonderfulness you give.

Day by day, even though I know I’m incapable, I will pour my love before you and attempt to give back what it is you have given me.

Thank you for loving me, because you didn’t have to.

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