My husband proved to be a reasonable man, willing to wait for me. I was ready, but Mother said I should not marry until I was seventeen. The wait frustrated me. I did not understand, in that tender season, the work of hope. Time was my enemy. I carefully marked the passage of days in my diary, ticking them off at first light. Before the day had begun, I had marked it off as completed. That should have been a beautiful year for me. I should have cherished my final season with Mother. But I did not cherish that priceless moment. I wished it along like an impatient child. That was a thoughtless season in my life—when nothing mattered but my dream. I did not know that love was selfless. I did not know how to serve love. I thought that love should serve me.

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