love and marriage

As years pass, responsibilities increase, and time becomes an often elusive commodity, I wonder how many couples realize that love is a living, breathing thing. The heart does not stand still, suspended in that moment of devotion at the alter. Love needs care and attention, it needs to be nurtured to stay fluid and continue growing. This holds true for any long term relationship, regardless of any legal document.

A fatigue settled into my bones as I thought about October 16th, and facing my second wedding anniversary without Michael. I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectation of dates like this—not just for myself, not just on an anniversary. When it comes down to it, the care and consideration with which we show those we love on an ordinary, arbitrary day wields much more power.

One Thursday about a year and a half ago, I found myself passing Russ & Daughters on the way to our weekly date night. I showed up at Lil’ Frankies with a stash of whitefish in my purse so he could have it for breakfast the next morning. A surprise “I love you” email or call in the middle of the day; knowing how your honey takes their tea or coffee—those are moments you can capture every day of the year. Why wait for one designated day when you have the chance to make every day special?

Mikey was milk, one sugar in his tea, and black, one sugar in his coffee, except for iced coffee which he drank with milk. After he passed away, I stopped drinking milk in my coffee, and adopted his black with sugar habit. Maybe one day I’ll go back to steamed milk, and maybe I’ll always drink my coffee this way. All I know at this moment in time is that I’m so thankful I paid attention to that little detail of his everyday life.

Music Pairing: Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison


  • Maria in NJ

    Wow I can’t believe it has been a year already, I remember commenting about a picture you put up last year about the guest/waiter at the doorway, looking at you two hugging…that picture really says it all also…

    I know I have a habit of do that too, taking my DH for granted, thinking that it is all too familiar, he will always be here…but sadly we know that is not the way it is, life is fragile…things can change in an instant.

    I am going to bake today, a paying job!! Woo Hoo!! I love to bake, I wish I could do it full time and make a living out of it. I have been making French macarons…my new baking obsession, how were they in Paris?? do tell…m

  • Wanda

    Dear Jennie, my hearts breaks everytime I read one of your posts. I believe in love and the power of the “I love you’s”, creating long lasting memories and the daily details. My husband goes to work about an hour earlier than the girls need to be ready for school, but I still get up & spend that time with him. Even if its just to look at him take his coffee & have his breakfast. I know that means a lot to him & makes him happy. You are an amazing woman and I wish I could give you a big hug. I admire you, the way you love your husband & your girls are precious. Hugs to you sweet Jennie!

  • Tracey A

    Morning Jennie,
    You hit it ALL on the head….(whatever that saying is..I should NEVER attempt to try to write those sayings!) Wisdom with age…(oh there I go with a saying again). Wishing you rainbows and hugs,
    Tracey A

  • Cristie

    First, black one sugar? I would have loved him as much as I adore you. Second, that picture at the end with him staring at you in the most perfect, “how the heck did I get lucky enough to land this creature” way just made my day. You two shared a beautiful love. Thank you for sharing it with us. Love and peace to you today, my dear.

  • d2

    Thank you, again, for your generosity in sharing your thoughts and recollections.
    I take your advice to heart extra deeply. The little moments with my beloved were – by the grace of something – a marvel to me even in those moments. S is gone 16 months and the preciousness of those moments of real-time gratitude sustain me now and always will. I am lucky enough to continue to be aware of and grateful for the care and companionship of good family and friends (and of his presence on bright-moon nights and other times). I wish you increasing comfort in your treasures.
    Thanks again and thanks to your community of commenters. It always feels so lovey in here!

  • Julie

    In our many years together, I’ve joked that my husband is not one for grand romantic gestures, but rather specializes in making me feel good about the little things, every day. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
    I so wish that you were still drinking coffee with milk and making small gestures of love. Perhaps your girls, cooking and sharing stories like this are the little things that still matter most to your lovely relationship with Mikey.

  • Elaine

    Beautiful! I am one to pay attention to the “small” things. This is a reminder of how important those small things are, thank you!

  • Holly

    Dear Jennie,

    Yours and Mikey’s marriage makes me happy. This love is what you will carry, what will carry you, in some way, no matter what or who enters your life, for the rest of it.

    Thank you for sharing so generously. Peace of heart be yours on this day.

  • tammy

    What a gorgeous bride you are!!! So pure and beautiful. You can feel the love between you and Michael in these images. I think you are absolutely right about marriage. Attention to the little things means everything. That is why with every inhale and every exhale his love will continue to feed and influence your life. What a blessing to have known such a rare and precious gift. Love to you.

  • Mikaela Cowles

    Sometimes I feel, “I can only read her blog so often.” Your story grabs me, in that deep pit of my gut which I try to keep hidden. But then I think, I look around me at all I am blessed to have, I cherish those little moments just a tad bit more. Thank you for giving me that.

  • Diane

    Such a Beautiful post.
    I try to appreciate all of the little things my Husband does for me daily it really is important 🙂

  • Anne

    That last photo… the “look” between you… oh god, that “look” is what it’s all about, everything that matters in this life. So, so beautiful.

    Jennie, sending you hugs and love. Your bravery, sincerity keeps me going too, every day. Thank you.

  • Laura

    For some reason I am just now seeing this post, and I’m thankful for it. I need to remember to learn to remember these things <3