Love is. . .

Love is fat little cheeks and baby giggles

Steaming chili on the first cold and rainy day of autumn

A fresh pot of coffee that I didn’t have to make.

Love is carrying the groceries in from the car.

And putting them away.

Forehead kisses.

Love is the thunder of little paws headed for the door when the puppies hear the key in the lock.               

Love is talking in the kitchen while dinner cooks.

Love is a care package when I’m sick and cranky.

Love is the creases in the folds of old letters stored in a shoebox

–the stories we need to remember.

Love does not alter, when alteration it finds.

Love is the first big snow of the season and a slow walk through the forest.

Hot cocoa with marshmallows, Godiva truffles, and cornbread slathered in butter.

Love is potato soup and rain on a tin roof.

Love gives without giving in.

Empathy Not surrender.

Hope not fate.

Love is a quilt.

Hand stitched, nine stitches to an inch,

Pieced from the old jeans of shared lives.

Clothes hanging on a line in the summer sun

Love is Queen Anne’s lace

In a cobalt blue drinking glass on the scarred wooden table.

Love is a verb, a noun, an adverb and an adjective.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Julien Conrad

He stole my heart even before birth.  I have been so excited to meet him.  To hold him.

Julien and me. Together forever.

I learned of him last September.

As the pandemic wore on well into its second year, we were all weary of daily life. Chef Boy ‘R Mine, however, had taken a job offer in his dream city of Chicago and was there scouting out apartments when he called me.  His life was dynamic and moving forward.  He had married the love of his life two years earlier. I could hear him breathing a little heavy as he walked, fast as always, the streets of Chi-Town. 

I can’t remember how he led up to it, but something like “So, I’ve got the news.”   And then, “Vanessa is pregnant.”

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