Thursday, March 31, 2011

Real Life Romance

This is real stuff.  Hope you don't mind me sharing it with you.
*Read the comment from Lillian for another reminder of why really loving each other is so important.
Yellow ranunculus make me think about when I fell in love.
They were the first flowers Aaron ever brought me.
He was romantic from the very beginning.
He planned us picnics, surprised me with things like a train trip to visit the San Juan Mission and wrote me lots and lots of love letters.
He knew how to woo me.

We've been together now for almost 17 years.
Married for almost 13.
He still brings me flowers and writes me love letters.
Mostly I plan our dates, but sometimes he surprises me still.
But truthfully, the way romance looks in our relationship has changed.
And I think it's better now.
Because it is real.

Having a baby changes things.
It forces you to reveal your true self to your husband in a way you may never have before.
You get fat.
You get stretch marks.
You cry a lot and eat ice cream in bed.
You aren't the girl he fell in love with, always wanting to hold hands and snuggle on the couch.
The 2 of you can't even fit on the couch together anymore.

I wrote this story about one of my favorite memories of Aaron loving me, shortly after James, our first, was born.
I was a weeping, tired, and distraught new mommy.
And Aaron did something far more romantic for me than bring home flowers.
He met me where I was and loved me.  (go read it)
Real love is patient.  
Real love is kind.

After William, our second, was born, I was in the hospital recovering from a c-section.
Aaron stayed with me the whole time and got to be a part of it all.
Even the parts that I never thought I'd let him be a part of.
After a c-section, you have to have a bowel movement before you can go home.
It's a big deal.
I know, so romantic.
So, there I was, having my big moment, and Aaron was practically in the bathroom with me.
There was no hiding what was going on.
"Way to go babe!" he cheered for me from the adjoining room.
"How embarrassing," I thought.
Later on, I had to ask him to come in the bathroom and change my pad because I couldn't bend over.
Really. Really embarrassing.
Actually, I was mortified.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't need to be.
Because it was real.
Real life and real love is not always pretty.
It is caring for one another even when it's gross, ugly or you really don't want to.
Real love is not self seeking.  

Real love is holding your wife in the shower while the tears course down her cheeks and the blood courses down her legs, and you are losing your baby.
It is loving your husband even when you hate him.
Real love is hanging on, saying "I'm sorry", saying "I forgive you" and meaning it.
Real love perseveres.

The other night, Aaron scrubbed the tub.
I didn't ask him to.  He just did it.
He knows how hard it is for me to get in there now and really give it a good scrub.  I have a pretty huge belly in the way.
Tonight he is going to paint my toe nails.
Maybe not to you.
But to me, right now, it could not be more romantic.

I think about couples who have been married for 40 or 50 years.
I think of the good and bad they have experienced together.
I think of the ugly times and the beautiful times.
I see them together at the store sometimes, walking slowly, helping each other get the shopping done.
I saw them in my grandparents.  My grandma cared for my grandpa so lovingly when he could hardly hear anymore, or get out much.  She helped him to the bathroom and made him the meals he loved to eat.  She did it every day because she loved him.
I see these couples and their wrinkles, their walkers and the way the things that used to matter don't matter so much anymore.

I am just beginning to really learn what that kind of love is.
And it is my greatest hope that someday Aaron and I will be walking slowly through the grocery store together, still holding hands and still in love.
Real love.

This kind of real love has been freely given to me, so that I can freely give it to others.
Romans 5:8,
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
1 John 4:10
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
John 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Show someone you really love them today.
Love from,
* For more on real love, and more of our story, go here.


Angela said...


Brandi said...

I am crying reading this post. Michael and I have gone through some pretty unromantic times ourselves. I look back at those (Michael actually had to give me an enima after my one surgery where we lost our first baby), going through the loss of Ethan (whose birthday is tomorrow), he loved me and stuck by me through so much. What a loving man. And doing all of those things while he was hurting and grieving also. We are blessed to have our husbands.

katie said...

This is one of my very favorite posts. It is just so beautiful.

Terrie said...

I am holding back the tears, because I am work. You are so beautiful Greta.

Lillian said...

Thank you for this post my dearest....truly real...truly beautiful.
Your dad received a call this morning at 3am. Cathy wanted to know if he would come down to ER at Fallbrook Hospital. They had a man there who was dying. His wife wanted someone to come...she has no family here They were a husband and wife in their 80's. He died. Our days are numbered. We need to remember to love one another, to serve one another, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
I received two reminders of that today. Thank you again. I love you

Betsi* said...


Pam... said...

How awesome. Praise God!

Lynne Palmer-Whalen said...

Dearest Greta, I love your blog, always read it. But this one is such a beautiful tribute to real love, no matter what age, no matter what happens - just love. And what you say is absolutely true and timeless. Please keep writing, you have a real voice that needs to be heard and treasured. Love, Aunt Lynnie

email is:

Laua Younger said...

This is one of my very favorite posts Greta. I am sitting here crying and feeling thankful for so many things.

Aaron Eskridge said...

Thank you so much.
I do not deserve you.
But I'm so glad to have you.
You are my best friend, and my love.
It's been wonderful to grow up with you.
And, I want to spend the rest of my life loving you.

Yours forever,

Four Flights said...

I was sort of on the verge of tears reading this, fighting them back. And then I read Aaron's comment and it's all over. Beautiful post. Beautiful you.

Lisa said...

It is those moments that we'd sometimes rather not remember that the truest, most real and honest love shines through, both from our spouse and from our loving Father. Thank you for this lovely reminder to be grateful for those we love and who love us.

Mandy Arioto said...

This is so beautiful. Definitely one of the best posts that I have ever read. So lovely Greta!

Imperfectly Yours, Kimm said...

So lovely and so real. Thank you!

Summers Family said...

Oh Greta, what a beautiful, beautiful post. The amazing effort the two of you make to continue to build and strengthen your marriage is so inspiring. I truly loved this post and the feeling it brought up in me - thank you!

I was just thinking yesterday after Branden spoke at Jack's school for Career Day how proud I was of him and how I really need to do a post about him an all of his wonderful qualities.

We are lucky women to have such loving, caring husbands. Have a great weekend my friend.


Rachel said...

Love it.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt, no doubt at all, that the two of you will be walking hand-in-hand through the grocery store inspiring countless young couples to find (and work at) the kind of love you two share.

By the Bluegrass said...

gorgeous flowers and very nice photos!

Bella Rose said...

Dear Greta,
I read this, and LOVED it! It spoke to me so much today... I hope you don't mind but I linked you on my blog to share your story with my readers.

What a wonderful way your words painted the picture of what real romance is!


ally said...

just found your blog & read this sweet post. seriously just what i needed to read. it is so beautiful & thank you for being so honest & sharing your heart.

Mara K. said...

Dear Greta,
This is absolutely beautiful.
I am sorry it took me so long to make my way here.
THANK YOU for sharing this link.....this really is taking my breath away.

Mara K.
{A Blog About Love}