Love comes in so many varieties; love of spouse, parents, siblings, children, friends, pets and even hobbies. Love deepens and expands us, moves us and can shake us to our knees. Or it can just be that gentle hand in yours or a listening ear at the end of the day.
If we are lucky enough to be born into a family where we are loved and cherished, we grow up with that safety net of love. We always know that we are valued and appreciated for who we are. Sometimes our hearts are so full of love we feel we can’t hold it all.
I grew up in a home where my parents adored each other and me. I felt surrounded by love; I saw love in action every day of my life. There was always love, kindness and consideration in our house, lots of hugs and kisses, and fun just being with each other.
Love was always there for me, as well as discipline, manners, chores, hobbies and the constant encouragement to follow my interests. We were a team of three, and we did a lot of things together; picnics, camping, going for drives, playing games, and so on.
I had grandparents who loved me, as well as aunts and uncles. I never missed having siblings; selfishly I enjoyed all that attention. As a child, I took for granted that all that love would go on forever.
I never had children of my own, but with two step-daughters from my two marriages, I now have three granddaughters; ages five, nine months and a month and a few days. My grandma name is Lulu, and how I love the sound of my oldest granddaughter calling for me: “Lulu! I have something to show you!”
All the love I might have had for my own children now belong to these three amazing little girls. The oldest one loves to make things, so we gave her some jewelry kits for Christmas. Recently we spent most of one day making clay beads adorned with glitter and glass gems. Santa brought her a ukulele, so I brought my own uke over and I showed her how to tune hers, and how to play Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Now that I am older, I see love through a different filter. Over the years I have lost loved ones; grandparents, aunts, uncles, my own mother, and some friends and pets. Loss of someone you love so dearly is a deep wound. It hurts, and then it heals, but that residual pain is always below the surface. Over time, it settles down to a small pinch now and then.
However, I would far, far rather have had all that love in my life; paying for it with the relatively short pain that comes with death. It’s a very small price to pay for having had all those hugs and kisses, words of love, the warmth of friendship and the love of my furry friends.
Oh, it would be easy to live without love, therefore sparing us the inevitable pain of loss. But what kind of life would it be; sterile, soulless, and loveless? No, I wouldn’t change a thing.
In the long and short run, it’s all worth it.