The first time I felt love

I was remembering the first time I really felt that he loved me as much as I loved him. He told me that, as he came home from somewhere and pulled up in front of our apartment, that when he saw my car, it made him happy. It made him excited to see me. He was glad I was home.

I had felt that feeling many times in my life when I was in an unrequited love. I certainly felt it many times when I saw Rick’s car, or when I saw him waiting for me outside the airport as I picked him up when he came to town.

But until Rick told me that, until I heard those words, I had never had anyone else tell me that same thing. I had never felt that, yes, this person loves me as much – or even more – than I love him.

Those words were at the beginning of our relationship, when I was still in shock that Rick loved me as much as I loved him. He confirmed so much in so few words.

Over our 21 years together, he would continue to use his words, his action, and his touch to convey his love for me. But those words that came in the beginning spoke volumes about who he was and about how much love he held inside. His simple words made me feel really loved for the first time.

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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