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From Our Readers: What My Family Taught Me About Love and Marriage
They say home is where the heart is, so I'm coming back to the "heart" to pick up the formula of how love lasts.
PHOTO James Reid | instagram.com/jaye.wolf ART Clare Magno

One thing I am eternally grateful for is how my family greatly values the gift of love and the beauty of relationships. They have always taught me that love does not happen instantly; it requires growth. It is not awakened easily; it comes with a season of waiting. It is not a surprise that shows up at your door; it is a lesson to be learned. Love takes time.  

It is not awakened easily; it comes with a season of waiting.

I'm still learning how to love better every day, hoping that when the right time comes, I will be ready. I have come to find that the best place to learn about it is at home, especially when it comes to love and marriage. Yes, I know that love stories, heart-melting romantic movies, and couples on social media who are defined as #RelationshipGoals can offer us nuggets of wisdom, too, but nothing beats the real thing.

The back rubs my dad gives my mom after a long day, the silly dances my tito and tita do in the kitchen during our meals together, the kisses my grandfather sneakily leaves on my grandmother's cheeks—these are the moments that make me believe that true love does exist. They say home is where the heart is, so I'm coming back to the "heart" to pick up some formula for how love lasts, and I hope it will prepare me for the future.

Generations of happy marriages have taught me that love remains when we build each other up instead of trying to outgrow the other.

Love abides because it sees all the good and all the bad and everything in between and still says, "I am here tostay." Love sticks around because it's not "let's see how it goes," but more "we'll make it work."

Love dwells because even if leaving seems like the better option, it always remembers why it stayed in the first place. Love stays because nurturing it involves a village, not a single person. Love lives on because it has to be kept alive through the little gestures of affections and acts of sacrifice. Love blooms because when cultivated with care, loyalty, and honesty, it grows.

Love withstands all hardships because it does not quit. It never gives up.

Love flows because there is too much to give. It is selfless. It is patient. It forgives. It trusts, hopes, and always perseveres.

The greatest lessons I have ever learned started when I was just a little girl, at home, surrounded by family. These lessons are the legacies they have given me and I'm going to pass it on. I want to raise a generation in the future who learns how to love and most importantly, who knows how to stay. I am extremely thankful my family taught me that love is the most beautiful thing in the universe. And that naps, prayers, and a good hearty meal fixes everything, too!

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