Does love last forever? What I mean is, is there one love to last a lifetime? When I was young and single and looking for Mr. Right (or at least, Mr. Better-Than-Nothing) I didn't think so. I thought that taking a vow "til death do you part" was optimistic at best, and better than "til I get sick of you or find someone better". But after almost 30 years with the same person I've discovered that sometimes you get lucky and love DOES last forever.
Over the years I've learned that love changes and develops, much like a growing child. It's different from yesterday's and will be different from tomorrow's. One day it's romance, the next tolerance. It exists in the midst of euphoria and grief. It's there even when you don't want it to be. Somehow love starts out as an idea, a reaction, and before you know it, it's as much a part of you as your eye color or fingerprint.
At this point in my life I've been half of the same partnership longer than I've been alone. Just when I think I've experienced almost every emotion love can encompass suddenly I'm surprised by a new one. I've come to appreciate the quiet moments where a glance can speak more than words. The subtle times where holding hands is an embrace.
We've developed a collective memory, know each other's strengths and weaknesses and more importantly, how to accommodate our faults. There have been times where the faults were glaring and almost unforgiveable. That's when the inner, fundamental love re-surfaced to save us from making the wrong moves.
Is it tenacity, or habit, or inertia that makes a relationship last for so many years? I don't think that either one of us knew how our lives would enfold when we took our vows in 1978. We were taking a chance on each other. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like without RW as my partner in life and in love. I know RW sometimes wonders, too. But I think we'd both do it all again. Just the same way.