As I am writing this article, I am sitting in a nursing home, holding my Mother’s hand, and literally watching her die. So many thoughts are running through my head. Most of them center around what this woman has given to me, the legacy she leaves behind, and the hole that will be in my heart. But because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, the obvious topic for this week’s article is true love.
April 3rd of this year, my parents would have been married 65 years. Because their love was so much a part of our daily lives, I never gave it much thought as being extraordinary. As I grew older, however, I realized how phenomenal their relationship was. You see, I can’t ever remember a time that they argued. I’m sure they “discussed,” but I never, ever heard an argument or cross words. They went through hard times, slim times, and good times. Their love never wavered…it only grew stronger. His eyes have always “lit up” when she came in a room, just as hers did at the sight of him. The nursing home staff cannot seem to fathom a love this deep…that adoration can be this lasting…but it is. Even as sick as my Mother is, her blood pressure and heartbeat “jump” at his voice.
While traveling for business, I get to observe numerous couples and their “dynamics.” I watch husbands and wives sitting in restaurants, not speaking to each other the entire meal; couples waiting in lines, staring straight ahead, never conversing. The neglect and lack of consideration is so evident. It makes me sad to see that these individuals are missing the love that my parents have. And I wonder what happened to them…why did their love apparently “die,” while my parents’ love grew fuller and deeper each day.
I think I have it figured out…my folks were in it for the long haul. They did not attempt to “jump ship” when times were tough. They respected each other and treated each other with consideration and love. They genuinely liked each other, and they shared the same values and faith.
Loving relationships do not come easily…they take effort…nurturing…patience… understanding…communication…and so much more. So this week I don’t actually have a challenge. I would simply encourage you to cultivate and nurture the love that is in your life and not take that person for granted. Show them how much they mean to you – not “just for this week,” but for always…
Cathy, Our stories are so similar, we could be actually talking about the same parents. My parents were married for 65 years and each day grew stronger. I don’t ever remember an arguement. They were “in love”, not just love that person. My Mom, in her latter stages of Alzheimer’s, could not speak or remember anyone’s names, but no one will ever convince me that she did not know my father’s voice. She would hold his hand troughout their visit and look at him so lovingly. It would just about break my heart for them both but at the same time, so thankful for the bond they shared. Thinking of you during this time-praying that God will give you both the Peace that only He can provide. Love you my friend !
Cat, I agree with everything that you said. Hang tough, my sister. We can make the long haul like our parents did. We can make it!
I am thinking of you, your Mom, and your Dad. I’ve learned a great deal form you Cat and continue to do so. Your depth of feeling was nurtured by loving parents. What a blessing to have. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your pain.
Thinking and praying for you during this time. I still have my mother, but we went through this with dad. I didn’t think I would want to be there when he passed, but the peaceful passing he had has comforted me. Being there at that time is precious to me.
Now you got me crying!! So funny this would be my parents story exactly except for the part about never seeing them argue, I think it was the opposite I don’t remember a day they did not argue, but still that deep deep love. My Mom would always say because she knew the arguing bothered me, Oh thats just the way we really love each other – no matter what we are always together and stick by each other through thick and thin! Yes that is it stadning by the ones you love no matter what through all the good, and all the bad! Wonderful people in such different ways we were and are so very lucky!
So sorry…you have shed enough tears already. Am so glad that love comes, and is shared, in so many different ways. We are, and were, blessed to have parents who loved us…and each other. Love to you…