I have a confession to make. You’re probably going to make fun of me when I say this, but I really don't care because I’m not going to change.

I am a Nicholas Sparks FANATIC.

I have read every single book he’s ever written (except the newest one I’m saving for my next trip to the beach). And I have seen every single movie that has been derived from his books. I'm at the point now where I can annoyingly quote every line whenever I decide to watch one. 

With that being said, you can imagine how skewed my expectations of love were for the longest time. Mr. Sparks definitely sets the bar high when it comes to romance and “relationships”, if that’s what you want to call what happens in his books. But a little over three years ago, something happened that made me take a step back and examine my outlook on love. 

I was in Alabama with my best friend Melanie and her family for the 4th of July. We were visiting her Aunt Brenda and Uncle Jack, who by the way are the SWEETEST people ever. And on the night of the fourth, we all piled in a couple of cars and drove to the town’s fireworks show. Melanie and I rode in the truck with Jack and Brenda while the rest of the clan rode in the other car. While we were in the truck, the four of us were just chatting away, Uncle Jack and Aunt Brenda telling us all kinds of hilarious stories. A few minutes before we arrived at the fireworks show, things started to quiet down. I was sitting in that back seat just enjoying the peaceful sights of their small town. Then out of the blue, I watched as Uncle Jack reached over and grabbed Aunt Brenda’s hand. She looked over at him and smiled while he just kept on driving, as if it was no big deal. But it was a big deal. At least it was to me. Because right there in that moment, these two people painted a beautiful picture of what it really looks like to love someone. 

And that picture just stuck in my mind. They have been married for nearly 50 years, and they made holding hands in the car still seem so special and so endearing. 

Since that day, when I think about the kind of love I want with my husband, that’s what I think of. Not a scene from a Nicholas Sparks movie. Not my husband looking like Channing Tatum. But just sitting in a truck, holding hands and laughing with my husband of 50 years. 

A couple days later when we were on our way back to Georgia, I wrote this poem in the car. If I’m being honest, it’s probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written. I hope that when you read it, it reminds you that whether you’re single, dating, engaged, or married, one of the best things you can do is find someone who will hold your hand through every single stage of life. 




As our first date comes to an end
And all the butterflies have flown
Would you hold my hand
In the car on the way home?

When our song begins to play
And the moon’s our only light
Would you hold my hand
And dance with me all night?

When you ask daddy for his blessing
And he smiles and says “You bet”
Would you hold my hand
Even though I don’t know yet?

And not long after that
When you get down on one knee
Would you hold my hand
As you slip on my new ring?

Through all the stress-filled months
Of planning our big day
Would you hold my hand
Every step along the way?

Right after we say “I do”
And you kiss your bride and smile
Would you hold my hand
As we walk back up the aisle?

Then when everything gets tougher
And we have our very first fight
Would you hold my hand
And dry all the tears I cried?

As you rush me to the hospital
So we can meet our new baby girl
Would you hold my hand
Even if i might break yours?

And while we watch the years fly by
As she walks and talks and grows
Would you hold my hand
As I learn to let hers go?

Then when she’s all dressed up in white
And she’s ready to change her name
Would you hold my hand
After you kiss her and give her away?

Then once she has kids of her own
And life is anything but boring
Would you hold my hand
As we tell them all our story?

And as our hair begins to lighten
And we get wrinkles by our eyes
Would you hold my hand
Under the ageless starry skies?

And on my final day
When my time on earth is through
Would you hold my hand
Even though I can’t hold yours too?

Then when we meet again in heaven
And walk down the golden streets
Would you hold my hand
For all eternity?

Published by Kristen Camp