Monday, November 30, 2009

My Grown Up Christmas List

No more lives torn apart, That wars would never start, And time would heal all hearts.
Everyone would have a friend, And right would always win, And love would never end.

I heard this song the other day, never paid much attention to it before. Can't say it's one of my favorites. It's on the same list as "Do They Know It's Christmas?" But that last phrase caught my attention..."love would never end." Seriously, can love end? We attach the word to too many things that are temporary so it seems that love, by association, can end. The romantics out there would like to say that true love never ends. So if it ends, it wasn't meant to be. I have a different notion.
The day that the Mr. informed me he no longer loved me, I was flat-out shocked. Panicked, speechless, terrified. I don't know what business I had being any of those things since I'd spent a good many discussions telling him how I could stop loving him at any given moment and walk away without a glance back. Imagine my surprise when he called my bluff, he'd learned that us not loving one another was an option he could live with. My assumption had been the very threat of it was going to keep him in line. So our love ended?
I've buried four grandparents in the last several years. I was close to each of them in a different way. Grandparents have that special kind of love, the love that you don't ever wonder about. You know, your parents are ruining your life, your siblings are your arch enemies, the teachers hate you, the kids at school don't like you, the cutest boys don't notice you. But your grandma and grandpa...they love you like crazy. None of my grandparents died following lengthy illnesses. It was all with a week or two to start to think about the fact that they were probably going to pass away soon and then they were gone. My Grampa Gerhardstein was first, had a heart attack and his second bypass from which he never recovered. My Grandpa Trent was next; another heart attack in his home. He died before the ambulance arrived. Gramma Gerhardstein looked like she had Alzheimer's but with much pushing from all of us her doctors discovered cancer throughout her body and she died a few weeks later. Grandma Trent went to the hospital with complaints of abdominal pain and was diagnosed almost accidentally with cancer. She was gone within several days. Each of their passings was difficult and yet; not so difficult. There's the mystery of love; a husband in the bed next to you whose love has ended and four people whose funerals you attended and their love survives.
Daboyz have certainly tested the theory of mother's love. From not wanting to even be pregnant to being certain I was entirely unqualified to be someones parent to being sure one more 2 a.m. feeding would send me around the bend to feeling burdened by the weight of children to just the general feeling of wanting to slap them in the head has found a new description. All of the negative residing within walls of devotion.
I love coffee, jeans, pajamas, my house, clean sheets, the smell of fresh cut grass, my fireplace, my truck, my job, my wedding ring, Christmas trees, weekends, Thanksgiving dinner, music, Donny, old photographs, reading, good hair days, Organza perfume, Gold Toe socks, e mails, the Hustle, laughing, etc.
I don't know which ones of the above would qualify as love that never ends. Parents hurt and abandon their children. Divorces happen. We seem to constantly love and then leave. Then again we also learn to love better in some cases.
The obvious is that the love of God is the only love that never ends. Even my love for him, should I be honest, has its moments of wax and wane.
Love, for me, is like the ocean. I can be miles away and entirely sure of it. I can stand on the shore and admire its beauty and never touch it. I can sail across it and walk away on the other side. I can swim in it and be fully immersed in the power of if, greater than that of myself. Surrendering to the ocean means being swept away in its current and sometimes being pulled into its undertow. It can be glorious and terrifying all at once. In its comparison, I become almost invisible in my smallness.
So much to learn about love it is no wonder that we look to elderly couples after sixty years together and crave their wisdom. I think it takes a lifetime of learning to know love.
No, love doesn't end. It is we who pull ourselves to shore and walk away looking for another place more beautiful.


Jada's Gigi said...

Ahhh...good post!

Margie said...

oh, I love this post!!

Louise said...

Good lessons here Thara. I thank thee.

Becky said...