I spent Labor Day weekend working. Not in a physical sense, but mentally. It was time to shut down, reboot and start back up again as I was having too many system errors.

He has a way of knowing when I need a heart-to-heart, even when I don’t know it myself. I had a list of chores, and even though his list was even longer than mine, he was insistent we were going to find time to relax during the three day holiday. There’s so many reasons why I love this man and topping the list is his enduring commitment to my well-being. We ended up cleaning the garage, which wasn’t on anyone’s list, but he knows I thoroughly enjoy sorting and straightening all of his tools of the trade. I haven’t a clue how to use any of them, but by the days’ end, I looked as if I had built something spectacular.

My clothes were smudged with dirt and soaked with sweat, but it was an awesome day being able to work side by side with my guy.

Walking past a mirror I noticed an oil smudge from the bottom of my lip running down my chin, as if I had grown a goatee overnight. I wondered how many times he’d given me instructions on where to put what, while looking at this dirty face. When I asked him about it he just chuckled so I wasn’t sure if that meant he just noticed or having dirt on my face wasn’t that unusual of an occurrence. I love that he’s a person who can look past the cover to see what’s inside.

By early evening we found ourselves floating in the water, letting the current spin us in circles. For several hours we let the water cool us down and wash us off as we talked about life and death and everything in between. There are no secrets between us and I can tell him anything, whether it’s good or bad, I know he won’t judge, misinterpret or debate. When he gives advice it’s from the heart and what would take me three paragraphs to say he can sum up in one sentence.

Why does it take having a meltdown to realize how lucky I am? I have a partner in life who wants nothing more than my happiness, I have children who have become my best friends and grandchildren who are more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined.

My world tipped right side up when my man, who has the most kind and gentle blue eyes, said my favorite sentence of all, “I love you more than life itself.”

I don’t need to read a romance novel, my life is one.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com