Love is not generally found in large, dramatic and heroic gestures, but far more often in the very little mundane details of everyday life that are the everyday signs of love two people share.
Sitting on my desk is a broken calculator. The calculator is precious to me because it is a symbol of the love I share for Lauren Elizabeth Kelley, as it was once hers. This calculator died a terrible death because the woman I love is a klutz. She ended up feeding the calculator most of a bottle of water. It drowned. I have tried to repair it but was not successful, so here it sits. To me, this calculator is one of the many signs of love that I share with Lauren Elizabeth Kelley.
I don’t know if the drug-addicted alcoholic she has become even realizes or remembers that the calculator she has been using for the past four years isn’t actually hers… it is mine. The same one I loaned to her when she killed the one sitting on my desk just before her finals one spring.
Likewise, many of the things I did for Lauren Elizabeth Kelley were little things that most people wouldn’t pay much attention to.
Getting her iced coffees on the mornings I was going over to see her, knowing I was likely going to have to wake her up and wanting to see that beautiful sleepy smile on her face light up the room when she realized I had brought her her favorite iced coffee.
Another treat I would spoil my feisty Irish lass with was home-made, snack-sized cheesecakes. Again, most often, I’d bring these to her in the morning, knowing I was going to have to wake her. I’d hand her a ziploc bag of cheesecakes and laugh quietly as she would try and sneak one before putting the rest away in the freezer. She always thought she got away with it, but never did.
Fixing things for her was also a labor of love. Two summers ago, I volunteered to fix the clothes dryer for her mother. Of course, this is what a good son-in-law would do, and I had asked Lauren Elizabeth to marry me, so it was part of my expected duties in my mind. But, mostly, I did it because I knew it would make my beloved’s life easier.
When she bought her first car two summers ago, I put together a safety kit for her. It was a small bag that had jumper cables, a first aid kit, a good flashlight, a blanket, extra fuses and bulbs for her car’s electrical system, and other small things that might be useful if her car broke down.
Among all of the contents of the kit was an tire pressure gauge. While this one does not look remarkable, it is unique and priceless because it was once my twin brother’s. It came out of David’s Mustang after the car was totaled by the drunk driver that killed my twin. It is one of a very few things I have left in the 25+ years since David was killed.
I do not know if the drug-addicted alcoholic that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley has become has any real understanding of what it means that I gave her something that belonged to my identical twin. I believe that the incredible woman that loves me would understand what a gesture of love, trust and devotion that was.
Another thing I bought and gave to Lauren Elizabeth Kelley, around the time she fell to her addictions, was a repair manual to her car. She’s a college student and as such can’t really afford to spend a lot of money on car repairs. I bought her the repair manual and told her that I was doing so because I was willing to help make any repairs her car might need. Being a former gearhead should have some benefits to the woman I adore.
Her addictions have cost Lauren Elizabeth Kelley so much, including having to spend two, going on three, summers in a dark red car with a black leather interior and no air conditioning. I have to wonder how miserable her car is on the hot dog days of summer and whether she realizes that it is the fault of her addictions that she doesn’t have air conditioning.
The greatest act of love and devotion I have for Lauren Elizabeth Kelley is a simple one—I abide and wait for her to hit rock bottom. I wait for her to realize that her addictions to drugs and alcohol are a serious problem and a grave danger to her. I wait for her to start on her long road to recovery and for her to ask me for my company on that road.
That is, after all, what I promised the amazing woman that loves me the day I asked her to marry me back on June 22, 2011. Whether she recognizes the truth of it or not, I am a man who keeps the vows and commitments I make, especially to the women I love, and Lauren Elizabeth Kelley is the one I love most of all.
God Bless you Lauren Elizabeth.
May God watch over you and protect you from all harm—even that you cause yourself.
I hope God gives you the strength to fight your addictions and the wisdom to see the truth about what the alcohol and drugs are doing to you.
I pray that God grants you the serenity and peace you will need to love yourself once again and to forgive yourself for the things your addictions have made you do.
I ask that God helps you find your way back to being the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, feisty, stubborn, strong, and devout woman He wants you to be.
Finally, may He grant you the ability to see yourself as I do and let you remember who we are to each other; let you remember the years of friendship, love and devotion we once shared; and give you the strength to make amends so we can start the future together we talked about last June.
All this in Jesus’s name I pray.