What does true love in marriage look like? I learned more about it this week while watching my parents then at any other time in my life. I thought I knew true love when I met Wade at 18 years old. I thought I knew true love when I said "I do" at 21. Of course at the birth of each of our children, I looked up at my husband and thought, "I truly love this man and our marriage." Through all the ups and downs of marriage when we were cuddly and happy or outright irritated with each other, we moved closer together and thought, "This is real deal love."
However, spending the last week with my parents who have been married for 57 years has taught me the height and width and depth of true and lasting marital love. My dad was diagnosed with ALS just over a month ago and has declined rapidly. We have prayed with him for a miracle and while he said he believes God still does miracles, he is battling the daily decline of his body. This is not about his disease though. It is about true love.
Last night as I had to stand by and watch my 75 year old mom struggle to get Dad comfortably into his hospital bed, I was amazed. My dad, with barely a whisper of a voice left at the end of the day, said, "Stop, let her do it!" He wanted to be sure all the tricks I'd been teaching her to make it work would actually work when I left. I stood at the foot of the bed in amazement. This couple, who I've watched giggle and snarl at each other my whole life, were truly a one man team.
I looked at them and told them that of all the team work they've done over the years, in this most difficult season, the team they are right now is the best team they've ever been. Through tears, I told them how very proud of them I was and that their amazing love for each other in this time helped me understand what all those marriage vows we make are really all about. As my mom hugged my dad and kissed him on the forehead, and he leaned his head into her I thought, "True love doesn't just last, but continues to grow through every season." It truly is a beautiful thing!