It was an excerpt from a 2006 posting titled "A Brief Reprieve" by Jeff Simmermon on his blog, And I Am Not Lying.
"You can read so much online about dating. Everyone wants not just a partner, but the perfect partner. We want flat abs and wit, we want money and initiative, frequent great sex AND fidelity, humor, business acumen, and flawless manners. I think we're missing the boat.
"That's the stuff of great beginnings. That's what we say we want, a beginning with sparks and crackle. This weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about the end (with my ailing grandfather). And when my own end comes, I want someone to stand there with me as my body fails, feeding me, hoping and praying that they can stand next to me for one more night, one more year, while our bodies and minds gently give out together, until the only thing left is our love for each other and the people that care for us.
"You can keep your flowers and your nights on the town. Take all your dinners, all your dates, your designer jeans and your brand-consciousness, all your nights out at the club, because unless you can give me -- and unless you're patient enough to let me give you -- what my grandparents give each other, all you have is special effects without a script. High expectations, but no substance to hold them up."
That kind of love is something to strive for. Those who put too much interest in their mate's appearance or income or status are cheating themselves -- and their partner -- of experiencing the sense of peace that comes from knowing your other half is, and will continue to be, completely there for you. Being able to give yourself over is such a gift.
Try to envision the object of your affection someday being the one changing your diaper or feeding you when you can't. If you're able to see them doing so with patience and compassion -- and able to see yourself doing the same for them -- then you're mightily blessed.
While that might not fit the traditional idea of romance, little could touch the heart more than to know someone loves you that much.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@cnpapers.com. You can easily access Fuller's columns on her blog at thegazz.com.