Forever Love

Forever love is a steady kind of change.

That’s what I think as I peer over top of the forest in our backyard and see the sun rising in precisely the same way as a year ago—bright and joyous. Already, the leaves are bright shades of orange, cardinal, maroon, and goldenrod. With a series of blustery storms this past week, fall has arrived more quickly this year than last.

October 16th has returned, and I cannot help but think of forever love. The kind my husband and I celebrated a year ago today.

Most of the memories from our wedding still elude language, existing more as a wave of sensations that I can unlock in the sound of pine needles falling upon the surface of a party tent, the taste of a Louis Martini Cabernet, or the re-reading of our vows, penned on ordinary lined paper, now turned sacred by the promises each sheet bears. Promises we’ve kept, broken, and remade to one another a dozen times already.

That is the nature of committed love, isn’t it?

Love that lasts is not made of a single, unfaltering promise.

Love is an ebb and flow. It surges and recedes. And, like the air that we breathe, it hinges on faith that even as we exhale, more expansive oxygen remains to draw back into our bodies again.

Today, I hope we can each take a moment to savor the forever love in our lives. Be it with a spouse, a child, a sister or brother, or even a friend.

I hope we can look back on our shared stories of the last year, or 10 years, or 52 years, and marvel at love becoming more as we ourselves have grown.

What would it look like to reach out to our loved ones today simply to say, “I’ve become more and my life has grown full because I have known you”? For I believe it is these small acts of gratitude that renew our strength to give and receive forever love.

Katy (Johnson) Stafford dreams, writes, and occasionally podcasts in the messy middle of life. Newly married, Katy is spending her 30s embracing hope, longing, and the wild spaces in her own heart. Her favorite creative project right now is called In Love, a memoir about loving your life beyond white picket fences. Katy shares more of her thoughts here, where she cultivates a community for writers and creatives.