I will always love you….

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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…