I’ve heard it said, “Love is a verb.” I like that better than the idea “Love is a feeling.” Passionate feelings come and go–they’re cyclical—but true love, per my definition, is constant, devoted commitment to the happiness and wellbeing of one’s chosen. It is an emotional bond grown of shared experience, respect, and intimacy. It is manifest in small, daily acts of caring. It feels good, yes, but that is the fruit of living love.
One of my favorite love scenes is one I saw played out in my grandparents’ nursing home bedroom a few weeks before Grandpa died. Grandma had dementia and could not take good care of herself. A multitude of bed sores were now on her legs. I had come to visit them with my children, and while there we witnessed the ultimate image of devoted love: Grandpa–himself dying of cancer yet ever the dutiful husband–slowly leaning his frail, emaciated body over toward his beloved to dab ointment on her sores. No matter his own discomfort, he wanted to take care of his wife of 69 years. Thank you, Grandpa Edward, for your example. Kindness, to me, is the epitome of love.