“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
– Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Frank and I have been together for almost seven years now, and today is our one-year anniversary of being married!
I have often been asked (mostly by my love-struck high school students) how to define true love. I usually answer simply: Love is selflessness. Love is humility. Love is true admiration of character.
I knew he was “the one” just a few months into our relationship. We had decided to take a trip with a large group of friends to the Poconos to go white-water rafting. We knew nothing about white-water rafting, yet somehow ended up on a level 3 course. (To put this in perspective, I learned, after I was on the water, that Niagara Falls is considered a level 5 course.)
As expected, we struggled to manage our raft. Finally, we came across one particularly rough patch of white-water, and the communication between the four of us on the raft was just lost – we went straight into a rock, flipping our boat. Everyone else managed to quickly resurface and board the raft, but because one of my friends fell on top of me, I was sent down-river. Speeding through white water, backwards, and then being caught and dragged beneath a 12 person boat, was probably the scariest moment in my life. I struggled to straighten myself so my feet would face forward, I struggled to breathe. In a series of emotions, I felt terror, rationality, and for once, a true sense of surviving just for one more second with no consideration of future outcomes or consequences.
And then, from afar, Frank jumped off his boat to try and save me. It was a ridiculous, careless, completely lunatic response…the blind leading the blind, but I knew at that very moment, this man is the one I’m going to marry. If risking your life for someone without thinking twice isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
So, on this day, Valentine’s Day 2016, I would like to wish my husband, Frank, a very happy first anniversary. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of selfless, humble love.