"The art of love ... is largely the art of persistence."  

-Albert Ellis 

Morning has broken, and with it comes a familiar aroma. He stands there, gently calling me. When my sleepy eyes begin to focus, he hands me my morning love offering: a cup of steaming hot coffee. I pull myself out of my coma enough to accept his token of affection. The escaping aroma gently foliates my senses, gradually bringing me to useful consciousness. 

My husband understands that I am not, never have been, nor will ever be a Morning Glory. It takes my brain nearly half an hour before I can remember what day of the week it is and another half an hour to focus on the day’s demands. My husband, on the other hand, wakes up fully alert and immediately programmable. 

Since the first day of our 26-year marriage, my husband wakes me with my morning coffee. This act is not dependent upon how he feels that particular morning. Like the postal servant who delivers through wind, rain, and snow, this wonderful man has maintained this tradition regardless of physical or emotional turmoil or whether at home or traveling. 

It is his way of saying, “Good morning, Sleeping Beauty. I find you adorable and loveable even in your most unattractive hour.”

Sometimes my own schedule requires I get up earlier than normal. He forgoes his own sleep in order to wake me with the aroma of a fresh cup of coffee. Even when he is ill, he rises to the occasion to bring me coffee as the sun slips over the horizon. He allows no adversity, discouragement, or ailment to interfere in his daily morning delivery, even when I have been less than deserving.

I don’t make it easy for him to display this faithfulness. Sometimes I put obstacles in his path. This was especially true after we bought the “lava coffeepot.” It had wonderful features. We both liked the fact you could pause and pour. On those rare mornings we slept in, it was nice to push a button, wait only a few minutes, and pour a hot cup of steaming coffee. Unfortunately, like most conveniences, it had its peculiarities.

Traditionally, I am the one who cleans up the kitchen at night and feeds the cats. When I’m done, my husband gets the coffee pot ready for the next morning. He had to take over that task because of the “lava pot.” Being mechanically challenged as I am, I can’t quite get the hang of positioning the carafe correctly. If it’s not nestled onto the burner within the rim’s parameters, the coffee will spew down the sides—grounds and all—like an erupting volcano. 

Sometimes, I don’t bother to empty the grounds and sanitize the pot. Sometimes, I don’t bother cleaning up the kitchen at all, leaving dirty dishes in the sink. It might be because I’m feeling ill, but ashamedly there are times when I just don’t bother. It creates extra work for him, but he takes up the slack without complaint. 

My husband could justifiably refuse to bring the coffee because I failed in my duties. He could stew over my stupidity when it comes to coffee urns. He might rightly feel I should be the one to get him the coffee (I do occasionally just to confuse him). I cannot fathom why he never complains; I only know he has not. This simple act of love has brought us through many disputes. Confident in his love for me, I find the courage and strength to face another day.

Standing true to this faithful act against my own unfaithfulness has taught me to appreciate my husband during the times when he demonstrates that he is, after all, human. When dinner is overcooked because he is late coming home from work or when I trip over the sneakers he has left in the middle of the living room, my anger is quickly assuaged by the remembrance of his morning faithfulness. I am comforted by the daily testament of his perfect love for me.