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Once I asked my mom if she ever looked back with nostalgia on the heady time of her courtship and newlywed life with my dad.

“Not really,” she said. “Why would I want to go back to a time with less love? I loved your dad so much on the altar, but really, it was just a tiny drop, a tiny drop in the ocean compared to what I have now.”

Did she mean, I asked, that because she and dad had spent twenty years caring for and serving each other, she objectively knew she was loved and did love more than in the days of early passion?

“There’s that, of course. But it’s also just that when I look at him, I feel a thousand times more love than I did then. I know, because I remember.”

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