• Grace Rivers

What is Love?

What is love? Is it a big romantic gesture, giving an expensive gift, buying flowers on Valentine's Day or writing words of love on a greeting card? It can be all of those things. True love is so much more. I'm am fortunate to be in my 15th year of a relationship with my spouse, Anne, as she is the essence of love. She embodies love, not just to me but for so many others.

My inspiration for writing this comes from something she has done over the last few days. A couple of weeks ago Anne was doing something online and she saw a really good deal on Amazon for a computer. However, it only had 256 GB of storage (the hard drive) and 8 GB of RAM (the memory of the operating system). Note: These terms could be a bit off because I am not an expert in IT, whereas she is. Over the last few days, she bought the computer and figured out a way to upgrade it to 1 TB of storage and 20 GB of RAM. This is love.

True love is being tuned in. First of all, she wasn't looking for a computer for me, but she always has me on her mind. What do I need? How can she help me? How can she make my day better or make my life easier? What can she to do make me happier? How can she protect me? She sees my needs even before I do sometimes. Reflecting, I realize that based on the work I am doing, this computer will really help me do it better, faster and easier. It gives me the right tools.

True love is empowering and seeing. She thinks I am talented, amazing, wonderful - all kinds of good stuff - and her decision to do this was driven by this. She believes in me. During this process, she texted me this, "Some very artsy, crazy little blonde might get a computer that is hella upgraded when she gets home from class." She knows I am not perfect. I couldn't hide my imperfections for 15 years. LOL. She sees my best self, the magnificence that is within me and she loves my whole self.

True love is giving. She gave so much of herself and her time to do this. She did extensive Internet research, many hours, to make sure that the upgrade would actually work and to figure out how to do it and what equipment was needed. She had to order the computer, the extra storage and the hard drive. When it arrived she discovered that she didn't have the right tools to do complete the upgrade, so she had to order those. We've been having delivery problems at our place so the tools did not arrive and she couldn't confirm when or if they would ever arrive. So she had to cancel the order, argue with the vendor to get a refund and search online and find them locally. The only place she could find them was a store she does not like to go to. She went anyway. She did all this at a time when she has a painful back and an issue with her eyes. She has trouble seeing the computer, but is having eye surgery in a couple of months. Once she finally obtained the tools she was able to do the upgrade. The hardware changes took only about 15 minutes. Next, she had to get some number off the computer, get a another copy of the operating system files and reload them. Finally, she had to load the programs she knew I would use and there were a lot of them, taking hours to load. Today she is figuring out what she is going to use for security, to protect the computer from hackers.

True love is freeing. They say if you love something, you set it free. I've been taking a bunch of audio, video, photo and digital graphics courses for some projects I plan to do. She misses me when I'm away from her. Instead of complaining about me being away and thinking only of herself, she let's me go, even though she misses me. She wants me to be who I need to be.

When I met Anne, I needed to be loved. I no longer need to be loved because I've experienced true love. I hope I have done the same for her. True love is absolutely moonlight and kisses and sweet slow dances. It is also cleaning the toilets, driving the kids around and upgrading a computer. As I type this post on my awesome new computer, the wisdom I leave you with is - know what true love is and what it isn't and don't settle for less. If you truly love yourself first and keep your love door open and the right one will come through it.