Monday, February 13, 2017

Real Life = Real Love

As you grow older you soon come to realize that what you thought was the definition of love when you were 15, 20, or even 30 years old is no longer even close to your definition of love at age fifty-three. It’s not so much about you being in sensory-overload, or the sight of a good-looking young man or woman who also finds you attractive, funny, and hopefully interesting – but about all the other ways in life that love can present itself.

It’s when tornado rips through your hometown, and the people who raised you, loved you, and cared for you all of your life, are sitting in a house with no power, no heat, in the dead of winter, and no real way to get in and out of their home, for days on end – that you feel a love that runs neck and neck with heartbreak.

It’s when your husband and your child, take turns traveling the road to get to those same people who raised you, because now those people belong to them as well, and the worry and love is also theirs, and you see them, without a second thought or hesitation, load-up all the supplies needed and head in that direction, as many times as it takes.

Or the pure love you feel when just as many hometown friends send messages and offers of help, food, and whatever else you may need them to do, for those people that raised you, just because they care and they are willing to do anything they can to help.

It’s when one of your best childhood friend’s has received word that in less than a year – the cancer that she fought for a solid year prior – is back and once again – the devil must be battled and beat down. Immediate love fills your heart, and you know that all you can give is time/words and hope that with both, the love you feel will build a bridge to her heart by the simple miracle of transference.

It’s when your oldest child moves 2000 miles away, the same child whom you never thought would stray that far from you, but he does, and he blooms and thrives all over again. He finds his tribe and learns to survive again, on his own, in his own way.

But the biggest surge of love is when your youngest child is giving a grace at a meal, everyone’s head is bowed, and suddenly he begins to describe all the ways he has grown; his newfound appreciation for the opportunities afforded him, admitting his selfish ways of the past, taking us all for granted, and his gained recognition/respect for the family that has always loved him more than anything and his determination to now give that love back.

For me, those memories determine the definition of love as this: loving unconditionally, loving when you’re tired and worn out, and loving when sometimes you feel the least loved. Real love, true love, always comes full circle. Take the time to discover what the real meaning of Valentine’s Day is to you.   

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