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The "L" Word

No matter what your age or life stage, I ask you to reflect on your life for a moment or two. What are the thoughts and memories that come to mind first? I'll go out on a limb and say that they probably involve love…love for a child, a partner, a sibling, a parent, a friend…And though we've all experienced its richness, we sometimes struggle to understand it.
We learn about love in many ways - from those around us and from what we experience firsthand. These are a few things that I've learned about love, though I am by no means an expert.

Love is patient. My parents have been married for over 40 years. Sometimes I probe my mother for the secret formula to their lengthy union. She explains that though they've both changed to varying extents over the years, one thing that hasn’t is their respect for one another. They've been patient with that natural process of change. To prove it, I don’t know any other man who makes coffee in bed for his wife every morning besides my father.

Love is selfless. I am fortunate to have incredible friends who've given of themselves for me even when it was most inconvenient. Without consideration of their own needs, they've been there when I've needed them most, without asking or expecting anything in return.

Love is enduring. As I’ve mentioned here before, I've come to know a 96-year old gentleman, Aldo, and his wife Helga over the past year.  They have been partners in life for more than 70 years and still have a glint in their eye when they look at each other. Despite Aldo’s failing health and limited ability to communicate, they continue to hold hands (literally and figuratively) through the hardest times, their love unfailing.

Love is forgiving. Relationships take effort. Don’t give up someone who helps you through the hard times, misses you when you're away, celebrates your successes, shares their dreams. Those people are rare and deserving of love. Show it to them.

Love is…so very many other things that I continue to learn. I would like to hear from you...

What do you think love is?


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