Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: True Love

It really was the very simplest of moments.  Something I'm certain that he doesn't even remember.  There have been grander, more deliberate expressions.  They spoke love in loud and clearly defined ways, with crisp edges and bold colors.

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.


May, 2008

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...

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!


  1. It is those moments - when they, seemingly without effort, go against their nature to embrace, include...invite us into their world, their very being. My husband and I are so very different and I can so relate to what you write here - because the moments that matter to me most... well he's completely unaware as they're happening!

  2. Oh, girl I totally get it. I think I cried and gave B2 the world's largest hug when he recently did E's laundry, folded it and put it away. Without being asked. Sometimes {most of the time} the smallest gestures show the largest amount of love.

  3. I have no doubt that when those whispers of love surround us they are signs of the deepest love. I find the purest expressions of my love in the most mundane tasks. They are simple offerings of self to self. And if that's not love, I don't know what is.

  4. I totally get it and you did a wonderful job of explaining it :o) My memory like that was when I was pregnant. Our toilet in the master bath wasnt working, I threw up in that toilet during the night. That morning I had to take off for a babysitting job. I yelled over my shoulder that the toilet needed plunged and that I had thrown up in it and that I would clean it when I got home. When I arrived home I went into the bathroom and saw my tall strong sweet man scrubbing my dried puke out of the toilet. Its a warm fuzzy memory for me <3

  5. Unconditional's wonderful, ain't it? :)

  6. yup, yup! I get it too. The big grand gestures of love are wonderful, but it is these ongoing little exchanges that forge it for the long haul.

  7. Oh what a wonderful moment. And I get it. I truly do. That tiny gesture speaking louder than any proclamation, and that sweet-almost-pain of love almost too big to bear. I get it. And you made me feel it too, just for a moment, with you.

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely, profound moment with us.

  8. Can I tell you that only did I get it I teared up! My husband will not eat food off my plate, and he freaks if I use my fork to take stuff off of his. Baby boogers are the grossest thing to him. In my sleepy state I used his toothbrush and he threw it out. So they fact that your husband used it, almost thought it was cute. So sweet, such love.

  9. Awwww. This was such a beautiful story of love, Sarah. So so beautiful. Marriage. Le sigh. :)

  10. I always knew you guys were sweet together, but -- a love that transcends germs? Now THAT'S special!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?