Today is the birthday of my beloved M! There isn’t a day that goes by without me looking up to the heavens and thanking our God for her. She is a faithful and supportive and loving wife, a great daughter to great parents (and in-laws), and a wonderful coworker. I think of all my shortcomings (and there are lots of ’em) and I am left wondering at the patience of my beloved. The classic question comes to mind: How can anyone as wonderful as her fall for a <unprintable> like me?  She is a true work of art!

One of our favorite pastimes is her asking “Why” whenever I say to her, “I love you!” I think my favorite answer to her question is, “Whenever I look at you, I am reminded that there is a God after all.” Or something like that.

To my beloved M: Happy birthday!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~ Sonnet 43, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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