Another Valentine Day has come and gone in my life without a special fellow in it. However, I have experienced so much love in the last couple of months; I certainly cannot pine away for lack of love.
I’ve been a lucky girl all of my life when it comes to love. It’s true that my dreams of a happy marriage turned into a nightmare and I’ve found myself single for decades. However, that has not meant that I have led a life without love.
First of all, the love of God is at the core of my being. Through every heartache, disappointment, illness, and obstacle, I have known that I am loved with an everlasting love of a Heavenly Father who knows me by name. Early in my life, He called me unto Himself and I responded in a relationship that has never failed. The love of God will sustain a person when the love of everyone else fails.
I have also been blessed with the love of a mother and father who showed me love in their relationship with each other, their families, the church, and their children. They gave us a foundation to build a life of loving and reaching out to others. Their love for each other has lasted for 62 years of marriage.
My son has a place in my heart that no one else could ever equal unless I had been blessed with more children. Now that grandchildren have entered the picture, I’ve discovered that there’s enough love to go around for him, his wife, a grandson I adore, and a granddaughter on the way. I don’t think we ever begin to understand a parent’s love until we become parents ourselves.
I’ve enjoyed loving relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and dozens of cousins. I’m so glad I come from a big family. Even when we don’t get to spend time together, I know there is love between us, born of blood and a common gene pool that links us together.
I have been so blessed to have students and parents that I truly loved for the last 29 1/2 years at Wallins Elementary School. Many of them loved me in return and showed me in so many ways with little love notes, pictures they’d drawn, good work that they did, hugs from them when they are grown up and long out of my classroom. There have been many children of my heart.
There are many people in my life whom I truly love and who I believe love me in return. I call them friends but there ought to be a stronger word than that to describe someone who has been part of your heart and part of your life for years or decades. I have been blessed with amazing friends. Funny, smart, inspirational, dedicated, Christian, mischievous , intelligent, simple, big, small, old, young, country, city, beautiful, plain, male, female… my friends come in all descriptions. Some are very much like me and we share things in common like loving the woods and going on camera excursions. But some are opposite of me and I love the variety they bring to my life. A life without friends would be a sad one indeed.
In the last two months of surgery and recuperation, I’ve had friends who nursed me straight out of the hospital and opened their home to me for a week post-op. I’ve had friends who brought food, sent cards, made telephone calls, stopped by to say hello, went to the grocery store for me, helped clean house, did laundry, drove me to places I needed to be when I couldn’t drive, watched movies with me, spent time with me, brought me little surprises along the way, were kind to my mom and dad while they were with me, delivered important papers for me, went by the bank for me, and came by just to check on me. I am so blessed with friends!
I can say the same things exactly about my church family. The folks at Harvest Worship Center have been absolutely amazing. I would mention names, but I’d be afraid of leaving someone out. They have been the love of God to me. They have been a living, vibrant body of Christ. They haven’t just prayed for me — they’ve put arms and legs to those prayers and been there to help meet needs from the very beginning.
Love is not a one sided relationship — among friends, relatives, family or sweethearts. It takes giving and caring on both ends, making sacrifices of time and effort just because the other person needs it, or just because you want to be a blessing. True love will cause you to extend kindness without demanding or even expecting the exact same thing in return.
There used to be a cartoon series that was very popular when I was in college called, “Love is…”
Every one of the cartoons gave a different definition of love and showed the little characters showing their love for each other by thoughtful, caring acts.
I have probably failed people many times in the past by failing to recognize a need, or assuming that someone closer to them than I would take care of it. I have certainly learned a lot in these past couple of months. If you are the one in need of it, no act of kindness, however small, goes unappreciated. Not even the tiniest bit of love is wasted.
Whenever love is given, it is multiplied. You can never give it all away because it grows and grows.
Instead of being disappointed by the one relationship I don’t have, I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving for all the relationships and all the love I do have. I am a woman truly blessed!