I now know that I have the most wonderful husband in the world. In the past, I had thought it might be the case, but I wasn't sure. Now I am. Yesterday morning — Valentine's Day — he surprised me with two beautifully wrapped packages. Very surprised since I thought we were only exchanging cards. I opened the smaller of the two gifts, and it was a book of poems, The 100 Best Poems of All Time, edited by Leslie Pockell. Inside he had placed a bookmark beside "How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Thinking that was very sweet and romantic, I opened the second gift. This was a beautifully framed photograph of the poem. At first I thought he had purchased a print and had it framed. Imagine my delight upon discovering that he had done it himself! I discovered that after he bought the book, he waited until I was asleep one night and then photographed the poem in the book. He positioned his wedding band, standing up, in the middle of the pages, then he arranged the lighting so the ring created a heart-shaped shadow.
HOW do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)