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Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Love That Lasts

In February chocolate means love. We give the irresistible sweet on Valentine’s Day, which is the only holiday set aside for an emotion. Chocolate candy, with its deep color and rich taste, along with flowers and paper hearts aptly expresses a token of what we feel in a tangible way. There’s passionate love, such as that of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in “Sonnets from the Portuguese.”

“How, do I love thee? Let me count the ways,

I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.”

When I read those words, I see a young girl with long flowing blonde hair and a guy with broad shoulders sitting on the brick steps of the girl’s house on a warm, spring night wrapped in each others arms. I imagine it’s late and perhaps the girl’s father flashes the outdoor spotlight for her to come inside, so they hug tighter and kiss longer until at last she must go indoors.

And I hope their love will endure the obstacles and challenges life puts in their paths, and she will love him even better after death. But for me, it’s Johnny Mathis who captured the depth of everlasting love in his song, “The Twelfth of Never,” when he sang:

“…I need you, oh my darling, like roses need rain.

You ask how long I’ll love you; I’ll tell you true;

Until the twelfth of never, I’ll still be loving you.”

When I hear his smooth, melodious voice singing those lyrics, I see a young girl with love aglow in her crystal, clear green eyes and a boy with a strong build beside her. Holding hands, they walk down a road beside a field of daffodils and lush green grass with the sun shining brightly. They keep strolling until the flowers die, the grass withers and the sky turns gray. Her hair is short and white, and his shoulders are slumped, but they’re still holding hands as tightly as ever.

These two make me think of a couple I know who are in their eighties. I’ll call them Sarah and John. One night I sat across from them at the Wednesday night dinner at our church. He started a sentence, and she finished it. While she nibbled on her salad he gazed at her plate with interested, dark eyes. After a moment he got up, took long strides with his lanky legs to the serving table and brought back a roll. She smiled and took it. “Oh, thank you,” she said. But she only gave him a glance with her clear, blue eyes before she turned to the young man on her right. He talked to her about a problem he was having at work. After she finished eating, she leaned her trim, petite body close to the young man and spoke softly, obviously offering him sympathy and a possible solution. One of the ministers walked over to John and asked, “Can you meet with me on Monday? I’d like for you to help organize a group to build a house for Habitat for Humanity.”

John stood and shook the minister’s hand. “Sure. What time?”

The strength of enduring love overflows and reaches out to family, friends, and those in need who often are unknown to the person giving the love. And we wonder where it comes from? How can we have love that lasts forever? Scientists can’t create it. If they could, they would be selling it for a fortune. Once I heard that a scientist had proven that chemicals in the brain produce love, but so far no one has isolated those elements or found a pill that stimulates defective chemicals to produce love that isn’t there. Even though sometimes it appears that love can be bought or forced on someone, no one can dictate the feelings of another person’s heart. Love must be received and given. The affection we search for is a gift from our Creator, and for me that’s God. When we understand how worthy we are because our Creator loves us, even though we’re not perfect, we tap into the love, and we can give out lots of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. I believe Cammie O’Shea, the main character in my first romance, Love Turns the Tide, discovers that type of love in spite of her trials and tribulations.

Gail grew up in a small town at the foothills of the North Carolina mountains. The granddaughter of a minister and niece of several English teachers, she inherited their interests in storytelling along with her mother’s love of people. Her first writing appeared in a grammar school newspaper she and a friend put out about their classmates. Much later at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., she enrolled in the college’s first professional writing class, placing several poems in the literary magazine and one in The Anthology of American Poetry, published by Royal Publishing Company in Dallas, Texas. After graduation she worked in Atlanta, Georgia, as an editor and copywriter until she married. Then while helping her husband with his business she published poems and freelance articles. While some were selected for anthologies two historical pieces ended up in museums. After being nudged by others to do more with her writing Gail published her first book, Now Is the Time. In 2004, the year it was released, the American Christian Writers Association named her a regional Writer of the Year. Her first romance, Love Turns the Tide, was published by Awe-Struck E Books. She lives in Georgia, with Rick, her husband of thirty-seven years. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, swimming, traveling, and visiting with friends and relatives.

Love Turns the Tide is available from Awe-Struck Publishing at Learn more about Gail on her Web site, and read her blog at


Linda Swift said...

Hi Gail,
Your article certainly puts us in the mood for St. Valentine's Day. And I love EBB's poetry. I've been a fan of hers forever. I've also been in a longtime marriage to my one and only and I think it takes real commitment and shared values to "stay the course." I'm also an Awe-Struck author and I love your book cover. Did Delle Jacobs do that one? I wish you success with all your books. Linda
PS I write poetry, too. Stop by my web site poetry page sometime.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Linda,
Congratulations on your longtime marriage and Happy Valentine's Day to both of you on the 14th. Michelle Lee did my book cover, and I enjoyed working with her very much. I'd love to read your poetry and will stop by your page. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelley said...

Hi Linda,

Great post. I enjoyed the poetry and the lyrics to the Johnny Mathis song. I never really paid attention to the words before. Love is strange indeed. I have been with my husband for over 20 years, married for 10. You have to compromise and not take each other for granted. We have had our ups and downs, but I think it's because we have respect for each other and that keeps the relationship going. There is something magical about finding that one person you can connect with.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Kelly,
I agree, finding the right person is a blessing indeed! Congratulations and Happy Valentine's Day on the 14th to you and your hubby too! Thanks for stopping by.

robynl said...

I love how you describe the older couple; it is so enduring and sweet.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Robyn,
I'm glad you enjoyed reading about them, and also feel fortunate to know them and a few other couples who have shown me that true love just keeps getting stronger. Thank you for stopping by.

Miss Mae said...

Absolutely wonderful post, Gail. The part of the couple who walked hand in hand down the field until they were old and gray brought a tear to my eye. Love should always be that way, forever and enduring even until after the twilight fades.

Congratulations on all your successes, and your book sounds wonderful! :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Miss Mae,
I'm glad you liked the couple whose love endures. I do too! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with me.

Anne Patrick said...

Great post, Gail. I love watching older couples and trying to imagine what they were like when they first got together.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Anne,

As for watching older couples, I sometimes do the same thing. The older I get the more I realize we stay the same inside. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Jason Barret said...

Hi Gail,
I love this picture you paint of the young couple as the lights flash on and off to tell her it's time to come in. Brings back fond memories of a time past. I enjoyed your blog today.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Jason,
I'm glad my blog brought back happy memories for you. Thank you for stopping by.

Gail Pallotta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle Thorne said...

Gail, it was nice to learn more about you. Good luck with Love Turns the Tide.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Danielle,
Thanks so much for stopping by. Good luck to you with your books and writing also.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Marianne and Judy,

I wanted to thank you for having me as a guest on Long and Short Reviews.

Gina said...

Great post, Gail, I just finished your book and I LOVED it! Good job. Hugs,