Tiny Love Stories: ‘Sadness Slips Quietly Out the Door’

He brings me coffee in bed every morning. It’s far from the dreamy depiction of romantic comedies — not in an apartment with a city view or a house tucked in a cul-de-sac, but in the frigid cold of our tiny camper, where I sit, barely awake, swimming in a sea of blankets. We live in a camper in the Kentucky woods to keep from being homeless. For me, he wakes early to make coffee in an old-fashioned teakettle on the fire outside. I sip it, knowing how loved and lucky I am. — Amanda Jean Alley

Twenty-nine years ago, my mother upstaged Jesus by dying right before Christmas. I was a single mother of a 4-year-old. I made the season merry for my daughter, though inside I felt like the sun would never shine. Over the years, I accepted that sadness would arrive around December. I greeted it at the door with a cocktail in hand — recently, with a pot of coffee. Sad and happy memories will always sit together at my holiday table, like restless houseguests. In the new year, happiness extends its stay while sadness slips quietly out the door. — Gloria Barone Rosanio


Two weeks before moving to Maine from Boston, Annabelle was trying to find “LSTD,” what she calls a “little something to do.” I was trying to figure out how to date for the first time since transitioning. It was supposed to be a fling. But our first date lasted six hours. Our second lasted 12. For our fourth date, Anabelle drove down from Maine just to see me for 48 hours. Three years later, we live together in Portland where we had our fifth date. With luck, a “little something to do” might become the rest of our lives. — Elliot Walsh

When my son was small, we turned our “love you” affirmations at bedtime into a game; the winner made the other feel most loved. One night, I told him that I loved him so much, my love filled his bedroom and flowed out the windows like a tidal wave into the streets of New York City. Not to be outdone, 6-year-old Quinn said he loved me so much that his love filled every single atom in the entire universe, and there was nowhere I could go where I wouldn’t feel it and know it. He won. — Laura Plybon

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