I saw a secret the other day, saw it happen in a room full of people but no one else did, and if I hadn't, the moment would have been lost to history, lost to consciousness.
My Dad, in his nursing home bed, was groggy and sluggish, struggling mightily to stay awake because he had loved ones in his room. His bed was up, letting him sit upright-ish, but his eyes kept closing and his head easing back, despite his obvious efforts to resist. My Mom was in her wheelchair next to his bed, holding his hand, and trying to wake him so she could visit with him.
But she was sleepy too- it had been an absolutely exhausting week- and they kept missing each other's awake moments. She'd stare into his face, willing him to wake up, and then she'd close her eyes for a minute and he'd wrest his eyelids open and try to talk to her.
As I watched, Mom closed her eyes and Dad opened his. They were still holding hands, and he turned to look at her. He tried to will her to look back, but couldn't muster a word, couldn't catch her attention. He kissed her through the air, two kisses, and then surrendered to sleep. She didn't catch those kisses, opened her eyes too late to see them, only in time to see his head fall back on his pillow.
But I saw them.
Their love for each other is deep and strong, romantic and care-ful, thoughtful and sweet. My siblings and I have been raised through a marriage of love that is patient, is kind. Their love does not seem to envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Their love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I'm thankful to have been, and to still be, a life-long witness to that kind of love.