My entire life has been built on love.
But at what point is love not enough anymore? I recently had this discussion with a friend of mine who is in the process of questioning her own relationship- which in turn caused me to reevaluate the past thirty years of my existence.
I suppose I’ve been very fortunate. I grew up with two parents who love each other and are each other’s best friend, and grandparents who were still in the “newly wed” stage after 50 years of marriage. My family is still very close, and we all go to Mom’s house every Sunday for dinner and to talk about our week.
My grandparents came over from Italy with nothing. My grandfather traveled ahead of my grandmother, established income, and slowly built a life for his family. He then sent for my grandmother. As poor immigrants, they had nothing for the next 20 years except love for each other and love for their family. They lead simple and rich lives, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a love so strong.
As they got older and their five kids slowly got married and moved out, they were able to live a little more comfortably- never in excess. There was no need for that. In their minds, they had everything. Every Sunday they would have all the children and grandchildren over for breakfast, it was the highlight of their week. I would often see my grandparents out during the week, either at the movie theater, or at their favorite restaurant- sitting on the same side of the booth, holding hands while they ate. My grandfather would randomly kiss my grandmother in public, or ask the waitress how beautiful she thought his wife was; he absolutely adored her.
Later, my grandmother developed dementia, and my grandfather took care of her, refusing to leave her side. Like something out of The Notebook, he would post old pictures all over the house and tell her stories of the memories they shared together, now long forgotten. At one point my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but refused to be treated or tell anyone because being in the hospital meant being away from his love- to him, love was more important than death. He suffered so that my grandmother would be more comfortable and died sleeping next to her.
After his passing, we had found a journal he kept in his room. All letters to my grandmother. Here’s an excerpt from one entry:
I wish I could tell you that I am sick, but I can’t put you through this. Please forgive me. I love you so much. I will never find the words to convey that properly….”
Here is an example of two people who were madly in love, didn’t have much, and refused to leave each other’s side. What scares me is that I don’t see much of this anywhere today. Where is the passion for one another? Why are we so afraid to be head over heels (hells) for another person?
I would happily trade all my possessions for one true love. When you think that way, the rest of the pieces will fall in to place.
Make love a priority.