Love is a strange thing. It doesn’t fit into any mold we’d imagine. I married a good man that I knew loved me. Ours wasn’t the traditional story. We had both experienced and been disappointed in love before. When we found each other, we took our time to be sure we were right for each other but knew early on we had something special.

Mike married into a ready-made family, gaining a wife, three children, a dog, two cats, and a house.

Later, we bought our first home together for our new family, and 17 years later added one more child.

He stayed home many evenings raising that boy while I pursued a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

We walked many miles together through hospital hallways during the years of my father’s long illness.

He developed a divide-and-conquer strategy when mom called to tell us the ambulance was on its way. I would go pick up my mom and special-needs sister while Mike headed to the hospital.

When mom started needing more help, Mike took over her banking needs and helped me with the added caregiving load.

Then Mom couldn’t take care of my sister, Michelle, full time anymore. Mike agreed that our house was the best place for her. And now, he shares in her care with me.

As Mike’s own mother began her battle with Dementia, he stayed in it to the end. All the while sharing in her caregiving needs with his siblings.

He sets up all our passwords to make them easier for me to remember.

He leaves love notes next to my coffee cup on Saturday mornings.

He lets me sleep in on Sunday.

I get flowers for no reason.

Like most men, he wants to fix things, especially whatever is hurting or overwhelming me. But Mike chooses to listen when I tell him he can’t.

Mike still opens the car door for me, and that always amazes me and makes me smile.

Thirty-two years later, I’m still learning about the depth of his love daily. When I look back at all we’ve experienced together, I’m awestruck and so incredibly grateful that God put us together.

God loves us, ALL of us, and gave us the capacity to love. Although, I don’t think any human can comprehend the real depth of God’s love while here in this world (John 3:16).

We love because he first loved us

— 1 John 4:19 (NIV).

There is a certain kind of joy that comes from getting through trials together, whether it’s with the love of your life, friends, or family. In those shared challenging experiences, we are strengthened and find comfort in knowing we’re not alone. And, for me, I find joy when recalling those times in my life. I hope you do too. You made it together.

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.

 Ecclesiastes 4:9 (CEB)

Today is Valentine’s Day, and Mike and I spent it cleaning and vacuuming all the floors in the house together. Not the traditional Valentine’s date, but then again, we’ve never been traditional. We were together, and that’s what counts.

Ain’t love grand!

This post is part of the #Write28Days writing challenge. The prompt today is AWESTRUCK. Check out the other great writers participating in this challenge. Thanks to Anita Ojeda for host the event.