Editor's note: The Chapel Hill News invited readers to write to us on the theme "Love, lost and found" for Valentine's Day. Here are two submissions.
Heart or Not
Are we best friends or not
you told me once
but I forgot
Do you love me as I love you
or can I not see clearly
I want you to know this very day that
I am always here for you.
Ally Hall, 10, of Chapel Hill, is a fifth grader at Ephesus Elementary School.
A constant love
I have been blessed in this life to find a gentle, loving and loyal husband. He came into my life when I was in college and wooed me with his charm. We had no idea where our future would take us. We have now been married almost 10 years and have two little girls. The birth of our first child, five years ago, changed everything. She was born premature with a severe brain bleed. My husband was my rock then. He still is. He stood by me and sometimes had to hold me up -- literally. We were extremely lucky that it only affected her motor skills. But between 12 and 18 months later, she developed autism. Another huge hurdle.We knew it would change our lives forever. And we also knew that almost 80 percent of marriages of parents of children with autism end in divorce. But the constant struggle to better our sick daughter strengthens our love for one another. Yes, it makes us tired, but it also makes us value the little things in life. It was the most remarkable thing when our daughter began to talk at almost 4 years old. There is no happiness like your child saying "I love you." A very happy Valentine's Day to my husband who gets up in the middle of the night when kids are crying, who vacuums almost every weekend, and who gives me a huge squeeze when he gets home from work. You are my strength and the love of my life.Kelly Steffens, Chapel Hill