Word of the Month — Forever

Romance is full of forevers. Just a quick check of the titles on Pinterest shows at least a dozen with that word used somewhere. Songs and poems abound with forever love. But what does it mean, really?

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According to Dictionary.com:

adverb

1. without ever ending; eternally:

to last forever.

2. continually; incessantly; always:

He’s forever complaining.

3. lasting for an endless period of time:

the process of finding a forever home for the dog.

noun

4. an endless or seemingly endless period of time:

It took them forever to make up their minds.

Idioms

5. forever and a day, eternally; always:

They pledged to love each other forever and a day.

Origin of forever 1300-1350 First recorded in 1300-50; orig. phrase for ever

Forever and a day is rather ambitious of lovers. Forever itself would be amazing but asking for one day beyond that? Tempting fate to kick you both to the curb. Everyone is different. I love the idea of being with my husband forever. We spent five days together almost continually and when he went back to work, I missed him. But that’s us.

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Often people looking for permanent homes for dogs or cats use the term “furever home” because, with these beloved pets, the lifespan is much too short. It’s forever for them, but a few decades for us, if we are lucky.

Romance readers want their lead characters to find a Happily (For)Ever After. At the beginning of the book, there’s a promise implied that these two might seem like total opposites but they will find a common ground and be together forever. They will have a family, their best friends will fall in love, their parents will come for the holidays and get along, and they all love the slobbery boxer who truly believes everyone shows up just for her.

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This may be a clue as to why continuation stories are so popular. The Darcys’ Governess, the Bennet Sisters, even Charlotte’s true love all give us a few more pages of Pride and Prejudice time. Series novels provide more time with characters we love and add more to the community in the books. We are obsessed with the love forever we find in the books.

Let’s face it, we live in a world that has reached the ability to instantly deliver news from around the world. Children starving in Africa are no longer a parents’ tool but actually faces and families online. Mass shootings are live through the body cams the police wear as well as the phones of people in the area. Once upon a time forever was the length of a commercial break during my favorite TV show. Now it’s how long a husband will have to go on with the memory of his wife dying in his arms.

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Eternally yours is thought to mean immortality but no one knows what the afterlife is like. Beliefs and legends vary widely, even the supposed reports of a child who has been there and back again explains very little (One wonders what he might have reported had he been raised Jewish or Muslim and why there is no explanation regarding religions with many more believers than Christianity).

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Being a romantic at heart, a very sentimental one at that, I will always believe in a love that lasts forever. I know how lucky I am to have found that in my own life. I wish for everyone a love eternal, a love that lasts forever and a day. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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