Danny & Annie

“Being married is like having a color television set. You never want to go back to black and white.” – Danny

Today I watched the animated story of Danny & Annie from storycorps.org. I realized, upon stumbling across it thanks to a friend’s post, that I’m a little behind the times — it has already been shared 23,000 times. But it was so intimate, so incredibly touching, because the animation is built around Danny & Annie’s own voices as they recorded the story of their relationship. They’re obviously much older in age as they reminisce, yet time has not at all diminished how much they love each other. Listening to and watching their story was by far the best six minutes I  spent on my computer today.

Why?

Because it’s really easy to be a cynic on Valentine’s Day. It’s really easy to say, “I hate all that commercial crap” and “Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday,” etc, etc. Or to think that Valentine’s Day is only for people in relationships and woe is me if I am single. You know, I’m not all about the meaningless gestures, either, but I’m really okay with having a love celebration. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your friends. Love your partner or your spouse. Love life itself. Danny & Annie reminded me that Love is timeless and exists across every dimension of Space and Time. Danny & Annie are old-school — two Brooklynites who got married in 1978 and never looked back. They loved each other through all of life’s joys and trials, and even through Danny’s illness and eventual passing. Even while they talk about his sickness, there is still love there: he explains how much she shows him love when she tells him that he needs to drink water and how he hopes people will be there for her when he’s gone, that maybe she’ll find someone else to love afterward so she won’t have to be alone. I find myself in tears just thinking about them, because I think everyone on earth deserves to experience that kind of simple, authentic love. Period. I think that when we are able to love like that, there is no waiting for Heaven, because it is already here.

Selfishly, I am so grateful for and in love with Husband and so hopeful that we will write our own “Danny & Annie” love story one day. Being married isn’t easy; in fact, I have never worked so hard on any other relationship in my life. There are definitely moments when I say, “Husband, I love you always, but I don’t really like you right now.” But we are always working on our relationship together, because we want to, not because anyone else is making us. And I’m with Danny on this one: the world literally is not as bright or colorful without Husband as my life partner. It is possible that I have laughed more and laughed more loudly with Husband in the past nine years of knowing him than with anyone else ever (other than my sister — she has that whole lifetime head start on him). And I have also never felt as loved and supported as with him, either.

But since I already have an anniversary to share with Husband, I will think of today as a Celebrate All Kinds of Love Day, a designated day for appreciating all of the other myriad kinds of love that exist in my life. I could never be cynical about that. Thank you, Danny & Annie, for reminding me to be in love with Love.

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