Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Many Faces of Love

We had the most wonderful Valentine weekend!  I could tell you that it was full of romance, roses and a dream getaway but, well, I'd be lying.  No, it was more of what I'd call a family Valentine weekend.  With Blair's boyfriend's baseball schedule having him in Florida all weekend, that brought her home to celebrate Valentine's Day with us.  And that's just what we did.  We had a fabulous family love weekend. 

Love comes to us in so many forms.  

On Friday, Blair and I took my mother out for lunch.  We went to a darlin' little café with a Louisiana flair and we even lingered around the red checked tablecloth and ordered dessert.  That's not usually something we allow ourselves do, you know, eat dessert and sip on coffee.   Not naming names, but two of us have high cholesterol and one of us has an hour glass figure which all usually must be considered.  But, that day was different.  We were celebrating.  Celebrating the love between mothers and daughters.

That kind of love is heart to heart.  It's confiding and nurturing.  It never grows old or tired.  It is the means by which valuable information is passed from one generation to another.  It is sacrificial and affectionate and both sides are loyal to their responsibility until death.  Literal blood, sweat, and tears have been invested in it.  It resists turning into one's mother but then it's pretty proud when it does.  It can drive us crazy and touch our hearts all in the same breath.  It shoots straight and discusses just about everything under the sun.  It's a lifelong friend who will never leave your side.  It's a piece of you only better.  It's enjoying being in each other's company.....always able to just be yourself.  It's being incredibly proud of where you came from and giddy with pride over where she's going.  It is a love that knows no boundaries.                  
On Friday night, Davis, Blair, Carson, and I all went out to dinner and for ice cream.  Davis and I sat across from each other.  I remembered we'd been there so many times through the years.  We'd had many dates there before we married and, on this Valentine weekend, we were there again on a different kind of date.  A date with our practically grown children enjoying them, the products of our marriage.  The candlelight between us illuminated a few extra wrinkles and a more receded hairline but the love was still the same. 

The love in a marriage moves forward in unison.  It's a team working toward the same goals.  It changes a lot through the years.  It does a lot of growing up and learning together.  It's trial and error and finding what works and how it all fits.  It's reliable companionship along the way....on the flat places and the steep hills.  It's being in it for the long haul.  It provides and supports and encourages.  It can be hair raising and heart melting and head scratching at the same time.  It's knowing everything there is to know about another person.  It's unselfish and forgiving and will always defend no matter what.  It is a chosen kind of love.  A voluntary promise.   It is the one we select to have on our team.  It's who we want on our side and by it, too.               
On Saturday, we all went on a picnic at a nearby lake.  After we ate, we exchanged Valentines.  Carson brought out a gift he'd bought for me.  It was a stuffed animal and some dark chocolate.  When I was a little girl, stuffed animals (not dolls) were my thing so it really was the sweetest gift.  He was also careful to go to my "chocolate drawer" to see what kind I preferred before he went shopping.  To say he is thoughtful would be an understatement on a grand scale. 

The love between a mother and her son is beautiful.  It is said to be the most heart tugging of the affections.  It is fiercely protective on both ends.  It is gentle and kind and thoughtful.  It is the relationship by which women can judge a man's heart.  And when he finds that one, a mother's place can be hard to relinquish, I hear.  It is always having a fan, a cheerleader, and a person who believes in you with all her heart.  It's being treasured and cared for and having someone pull out her seat atop a pedestal.  It is a ferocious love between a mother and her cub.  A special kind of bond that can't be explained......only felt.  It is pride in its purest form.  It is wanting the very best that life has to offer for another person.     
The weather was absolutely beautiful and, after our picnic, we went for a 5 mile hike.  I didn't really even mind because we were having such a great time together as a family.  If that's what they wanted to do then I was game.   
We ended the day with dinner at my in-laws, the people who raised the man I love.  And that's another kind of love.....the kind of love that teaches a son how to be a godly husband and father.....for the benefit of a little girl who their little boy would meet one day.  The kind of love that models what it means to be a good person and a hard worker......a man of integrity.     

Today, we got word that someone in my extended family was killed in a car wreck this morning.  A young wife and mother of little children.  I haven't thought about much else since I heard.  It made me think about my weekend with family and how I've been surrounded with love on every side.  I thought about how people don't come with any guarantees and life is full of the unexpected. 

We shouldn't put off the visits.  It's best to make the phone calls.  Say the I love you-s.  Express the gratitude.  Spend a little extra time.     

Love comes to us in many forms.  They're all unique.  They're all worth celebrating.  They're all worthy of our recognition.  And they all need to hear they're appreciated. 

And none of them are promised tomorrow. 

Please pray for Douglas and his sweet, little family.              

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful testament of family love and togetherness. My prayers goes out to Douglas and his children, losing his wife and children's mother is heartbreaking.
    yes, enjoy today for tommorrow might never come.
    take care, Kathleen in Az