This, Valentine’s weekend, I thought I would share some of my ideas on love.
In my life, I have been blessed with many, many examples of love. Thirty-seven years ago I met Jim. We fell in love very quickly and were engaged only 4 months after meeting. Now that was LOVE! When I fell in love and married Jim, I thought that I was getting a handsome, thoughtful, smart, hard working, loyal, adventuresome partner. And I was. But I was also naive back then, and I could not possibly understand what this man would turn out to be. Jim, as it turns out, personifies love. He was by my side through the birth of our two children. He travelled with me across the country and helped make setting up our new life in Alberta seem like an adventure. He accepted my family and my friends and he always treats them with love too. He has listened to my dreams and walked with me toward them when I have been brave enough to pursue them. He loves my cooking and my company. And the best thing he has done for me is to allow me to be myself. Turns out I got way more than I bargained for.
Lest you think that our life has been made of softly muted colours and a romantic song playing on repeat in the background, let me fill you in on some other parts of our life.
Jim and I cried together through 5 miscarriages before our first child was born. This too, is love.
We thought we would never be whole again when our children headed away to university, even though we knew that our job was to get them to the place where they had the skills to ‘do it on their own’. This too, is love.
Jim held my father when he died, and then had to call home to tell me what had happened. This too, is love.
We drove away from our beloved acreage, and each wondered if we had made the right decision, not wanting to have disappointed each other. This too, is love.
We sat in Foothills Cardiac ICU together and Jim placed a call to each of our children so that he could tell them he loved them before he went in to the operating room for his open heart surgery. I could barely listen. Let me tell you, that too, was love.
Love doesn’t always come in the form of hearts and flowers and chocolates. Sometimes it comes in the form of tears and heartache and disappointment and even terror. When our son, Greg walked away from a horrible rollover accident on my birthday quite a few years ago, we sat together in our living room that night trying to wrap our heads around what had happened and what could have happened. Greg said, “Mom, I’m so sorry this happened on your birthday”. I replied, “I can’t think of a better birthday gift than having all of us sitting here tonight”. This too, is love.
This Valentine’s Day, I hope you find love in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Love can disguise itself quite artfully. Don’t look for it only in roses and chocolates. Some of the greatest moments of love in my life have come in the midst of challenges and disappointments. I was just lucky that someone once shared with me the idea that “This too, is love”.
Happy Valentine’s Day!