The Gift of Love in All Its Forms

“Love is the master key that opens the gate of happiness.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

This morning I dropped the three grandchildren who live with me off at school. My grandson who is usually less affectionate than his sisters, turned and called over his shoulder, “I love you!”

It was a simple thing, but a moment that helped me to start my day with a smile in my heart.

What is more precious to experience than love?

When people think of love, they often think of romantic love. As a widow, that type of love is no longer part of my life, although I admit holding precious memories in my heart of that experience.

There are plenty of other kinds of love. Today as a grandmother in the autumn of my life, my heart is still warmed by glimpses of the love I do have in my life. I admit there are times that I feel a bit sorry for myself, sure that others have lives that are fuller and more blessed than mine, but I know in my heart that I have all I need.

What I have and who I have in my life is enough.

The Love of Children

 My maternal instincts have always been very strong. I have always cherished my children with a deeper love than I ever felt for anyone else. The unconditional love of a small child is the closest I have ever felt to God.

Years ago I remember my mother watching a talk show on TV and the question was asked, “Who do you love more – your husband or your children?” My mother adamantly stated that she loved her husband much more deeply than her children. The audience was fairly evenly divided in their responses.

I don’t think it’s really important to compare the different kinds of love I have experienced. To me the type of love I felt for my husband when he was alive and the love I felt for my children was a completely different experience. But the depth of unconditional love that comes from children is incomparable.

The Love of Close Family Members and Those Like Family

To experience love from close family members is another huge blessing. Whether you have been able to develop a deep, intimate relationship with a spouse, parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents or aunts and uncles, you are blessed.

Certainly some families are closer than others, but to have a family is to have sense of belonging to someone.

Some would say that blood is thicker than water, while others would say the people they choose to love are much more important to them than the ones who happened to be related to them.

I say it doesn’t matter. Or as Jane Howard said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

I am so grateful to have people to love. Who are the people bringing love to your life today?

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