Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is love?

I receive a lot of forwarded e-mails. Most of them I delete without reading. No offense dear sender, I just can't keep up. I have a forwarded e-mail threshold and most days I hit it before I read the first one. I see the list of 4,349 other names who are receiving the forward and I press delete. Mass sending just turns me off.
But today, for no reason, my threshold for the forwarded e-mail grew to one which was perfect because that's what was in my inbox.
It was titled "What love means to a 4 - 8 year old." Cute.
And surprisingly spot on.
Most of the kids saw love in the simple things like a kiss goodnight, Moms taking care of Dads and grandparents growing old together. But one really caught my attention. Chrissy, age 6, defined love this way: "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Woah, Chrissy.
At first glance this may not seem all that profound but when you think on it, it is actually quite meaningful. Chrissy captured selfless and generous love in the form of French fries. I may not eat French fries anymore but I can still share in the sentiment. Love is when you give without expecting anything in return. Love is when you want to fullfill the needs of someone else more than your own.
I couldn't help but think about my Mom when I read that. Right now she is driving to Sarasota with Pippy in a VW Beetle. She's been on the road for over two days and honestly, she has acted like she just drove around the block. To her, this is no big deal. She gives of herself without complaint or whining or even acknowledging that what she is doing is selfless.
But it is.
Driving twenty hours in a little car with a dog isn't most people's idea of a joy ride. Most people are ready to be done after hour four on the road, but not my Mom. If it took forty hours to get to me I don't think she'd bat an eyelash. She loves me that much.
So, what is love to me?
Love is a Mom who would travel day and night to see you. She would do it without ever mentioning sore knees from hours of sitting or a stiff back from the endless time spent in an uncomfortable chair. That is love, and that is my Mom.

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