Cherish is another one of my favorite words. It is similar to love, but different. To cherish something is not only to love it, but also to value it. To understand how lucky you are to have that something in your life.
Cherish (v): to care about deeply.
Ella knew love.
Love was the tiny, sleeping body of her daughter tucked against her in her arms.
Love was hovering at an awkward, back-cramping angle over a wobbly walker, alert for any indication of an impending tumble.
Love was stepping back and letting her daughter fall a few times so she could learn how to get back up.
Love was laughing at the utterly surprised, startled, wide-eyed expression her daughter made every time she fell and landed flat on her butt.
Love was watching her husband get his toes painted neon pink because their daughter wanted to “experiment with color.” (She had already gotten her own toes painted a thick, shimmery green-blue)
Love was Friday movie nights, sharing a blanket and a bowl of burnt popcorn.
Love was belting out love songs from the 80’s with her husband at traffic signals, even as their daughter groaned in the back seat.
Love was patching up scratched-up knees and kissing away sticky tears.
Love was panicking as her daughter cartwheeled into a wall and made a foot-shaped hole in the thin plaster.
Love was starting impromptu snow fights and drinking hot chocolate with way too many marshmallows and stealing candy canes from the Christmas tree.
Love was super gluing the handle from her husband’s favorite decorative vase as her daughter tearfully explained “it was an accident.”
Love was cuddling together on Saturday mornings until their daughter finally pulled them to watch cartoons on their old television set.
Love was catching fireflies on summer evenings.
Love was crying on her daughter’s first day of school.
Love was dancing the waltz on cold linoleum tiles without any music because it was after their daughter’s bedtime.
Love was home.
It was by no means perfect. They had their arguments, their raised voices, and their regretted words.
But love was always growing and always forgiving.
Love was tender hugs, makeup kisses, and shrieking laughter.
Ella knew love.
And she had it.