On our first Valentine’s Day I wrote a series of three Notes to Stephanie. You see the love and excitement we then shared. But that faded away as you know. Here are all three from “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.
I’m ready for many, many fun and happy Valentine’s together with you too my Stephanie dear. Each succeeding one will be better than the last since we will have the memories of the ones previous to add to the one in the present with each other. Such times will enrich our love for each other and our life together as we get old. So one day when we wake up together and realize we are grey and wrinkled, it will be OK because we will have had many good times with one another. Valentines will be but one set of such memories that will fill our hearts and minds as the years unfold. The panorama of our experiences together will show everyone how a couple can be happy and enjoy each other without growing tired or weary of one another, even in the face of life’s ups and downs and having a few eccentric personality traits.
Perhaps one day in a future that we can only dimly imagine our kids will realize that our love is a good thing and not something to see as a threat to their lifestyles, something to question, or be an object of their ridicule. But instead see it as something to aspire to have in their lives and remember fondly when they themselves are old and we are gone from this Earth of ours. Maybe one day in the twilight of their own lives, when they are thinking about us across the broad sea of decades long since past, they will realize they learned to love well by watching how happily and fully we loved each other.
Jeff to Stephanie, Valentine’s Day 2007
My dearest wife, friend, partner, and lover, I will always cherish you too. We will always walk hand in hand through the sometimes prickly garden of life. The sharp thorns of existence stick us but will not injure our love and affection for one another. To the contrary, such things will bring us closer together and strengthen our relationship that is now so young, so full of fire, and brimming with the spirit of life. Our garden of marriage will be like the spring time: green, bright, sunny, and warm. Not dark, cold, and barren like other gardens in life we have both been in. Truly, having seen landscapes that did not bring forth a rich harvest from life we both know that what we have sown through our love will provide a cornucopia of contentment. A Thanksgiving of the heart and soul will be ours, and is ours today in fact.
I know we will always be excited to be with each other and always long to see each other every day we are together across the years to come. I look forward to the rest of our lives with each other, regardless of the ups and downs that surely will be there. Traveling across these bumps, and also smooth places, in the highway of life are what define existence and reality itself. Regardless, such a journey will be the greatest trip we have ever taken. And the most fun, the most satisfying, the most comforting, and the most fulfilling. So I am ready to saunter on with you too down the road we have decided to walk down together.
Jeff To Stephanie, The Day After Valentines 2007
Well now my love, we are a week past Valentines now and we still know we love each other as before. Somehow I know that the passage of time will not lessen or dull our sharp affection for each other. While we are still learning about each other’s personalities, we still know what we knew all along: “I always loved you, I love you now, and I will always love you”. Those words, spoken at our little wedding, ring true even now in our hearts.
That permanency of love is such a simple idea but yet it is so important to us both. Inside of us, we feel comfortable with each other and realize we will always feel that way. That certainty brings peace to our hearts as we live our lives and deal with its challenges. Many couples never know how that feels but we have it and will not lose that emotional warmth, or the closeness it has brought into our lives.
So now my wonderful, true Valentine and wife, I do love you so very much. And I know you love me the same way. This true commonality of feelings will make us one for as long as we live on this Earth. As will the words above that we spoke so truly at our wedding last Halloween.
Jeff to Stephanie, a week after Valentines 2007