But this...this was a whisper. It was blurred around the edges.
And I roll it between my heart and my soul so often that now it's positively ragged with remembrance.
But it was so silly.
Listen while I tell you a story about true love.
I shuffled my feet to the bedside. Eased myself onto the cool sheets. Rolled to face the bathroom, and yawned hugely. Baby Lauren was finally asleep and my day had quieted.
At the bathroom sink, draped in the light of soft white bulbs, Justin was getting ready for bed. I watched him through half-closed eyelids, purple seeping into the edges of my vision. So tired. Cold water sang from the faucet like a lullaby. His broad shoulders bent towards the countertop, searching. Finding.
He held up his toothbrush and looked closely at the bristles. Ran his finger over them. Smiled and breathed one near-silent laugh. It was seen more than heard.
"What's funny?" I asked as another yawn overtook my words.
He didn't turn all the way around, just swiveled his head as he unscrewed the cap from the toothpaste. Spoke over his left shoulder towards my stretched-out sleepiness.
"You used my toothbrush again." It wasn't dropped like an accusation; it was offered like an endearment. His lips tilted up in a secret smile. And before I could speak -- defend, deny, describe -- he popped the toothbrush into his mouth and worked up a quick lather.
I was stunned.
I'd used his toothbrush? And not for the first time?
this man who didn't like to eat or drink out of the same dish as anyone else, this man who was afraid of baby spit-up, this man who kissed my forehead instead of my mouth when I was sick...
he didn't care.
Lying there, watching his casual routine, my belly flipped. A soft knot -- smooth and warm -- twisted inside and I fell.
In love, again, with my husband.
It hardly stands up to the scrutiny of being shared. I feel unable explain it well enough to make you understand. It was one of the purest expressions of acceptance and trust and love I've ever experienced. Such a tiny, forgettable thing -- the brushing of teeth -- and it's left a permanent memory etched inside me.
Even now, when I run through the memory, all 12 seconds of it, I cannot pinpoint why. I cannot hold on to the smooth, warm knot of feeling twisting through my heart. It eases past and all I am left with is the sense...
that I am loved unconditionally.
Exhausted, forgetful, and loved in spite of it all.
This month for Bigger Picture Moments, we're encouraging you to explore the beauty and simplicity of LOVE. Let the Valentine's hearts and rosy colors cloud your words as you share your moments -- a memory, a confession, a proposal, a feeling -- and link up. Alita is hosting today; please head over to share your moment and read others from friends as we live intentionally through February!