In fact, I was reminded ever more clearly of that day when I ignorantly went for a walk this morning, right around the time the elementary school buses were out. As if my tear ducts needed any more coaxing on this fine, fine day.
Here’s the thing. Love is a funny animal. There are many different kinds of love – romantic love, sibling love, friendship, parents and children, extended family, and self love (do not chuckle, that is NOT what I meant!). There is also love of country, love of God, love of one’s fellow man. We all know this.
But there are also many phases of love. In each relationship that we have, especially the long-term, life sentence ones, love can change, evolve, transform, over the years. This is not a bad thing. It’s just the way it is.
Okay so maybe my kid was getting into his car instead of holding my hand, and maybe he wasn’t grinning from ear to ear with a little skip to his step and freshly sharpened pencils and a shiny new lunchbox. My love for him may be different than it was when he was small, but it is the same in all the ways that matter, and it certainly isn’t any less.
Strip away all that other stuff. Don’t dwell on memories and pine for the good old days, don’t worry about the future. Close your eyes in this moment and think about the person you love. And just feel that. Don’t try to figure it out, because you can’t. Just feel it and smile because of how lucky you are to have the opportunity to love at all.
Think of someone that you loved and lost. Whether you lost that person to disease or addiction, a tragedy, or just plain old drifted apart. Would you give up the opportunity to have known and loved that person just to save yourself heartache? Of course you wouldn’t.
Yes, there will be times when it feels like someone dropped a cinder block on your chest cavity and stepped on it while sitting atop an elephant. And yes, there will be days when you would prefer being struck by a bus, in your laundry day underwear, than opening your eyes and getting out of bed. But these times will pass. There is always, always a better day coming up. Love is worth it every time.
I know that I am over-simplifying all this. There are a gazillion different situations and stories, and I am limited to what I’ve heard about, seen, or experienced. But this I know to be true... Love is messy, complicated, and can be very sad. And it is indeed crazy. But love is never stupid. Not stupid at all.