Friday, August 6, 2010

How Deep is Your Love?

"I hold it true, whatever befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
~ Lord Alfred Tennyson (Birthday - August 6, 1809)

I remember this oh-so-seventies wall hanging (think orange, avocado green, brown..) in our kitchen when I was a kid that said, "If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it doesn't, it was never meant to be."  I remember it so vividly. Maybe it's because I read it everytime I was standing at the cupboard choosing a snack. Or maybe it's because I found it so sad.
But I really like Tennyson's take a lot better. He doesn't worry about getting it back. He knows it's all about the love. If it's lost, it's lost. But at least you had it. Right??

There's never been a moment that I regretted loving someone. Even when I've been crushed by rejection, taken for granted or just plain wounded. Anyway, I am choosing to focus on the love. So here's a tribute to some of those I love:

This past weekend I was blessed to spend time with some of the first people I ever loved. Many of you have heard me say how good it is for my soul to be with my high school classmates. And I understand that many people don't look back at high school with nostalgia and happy thoughts. But most of my classmates were in my preschool classes at First Baptist Church Kindergarten, so I really have known them my whole life! Through the good, the bad and pubescent.....we have come to an understanding that we didn't always like each other, but we definitely love each other!

On a very base level, these are the people who know me. They don't know all the details of my adult life. They may not even know the details of my childhood because they were experiencing their own at the same time. But they just "know" me - and love me anyway. The same is true for me. I love them. I love that when we get together, we are so different - and yet we are just the same. We fall back into our same roles we had when we were 16. I'm still the planner. Robby is still the provider. Colin and Brent are still the comedians. Mandy is still the do-er. Amy is still the....oh wait. I can't blog about her. She won't let me. hahaha

When I see them, it brings back so many memories. A couple examples:

Exhibit A: Learning to drive a stick shift on a Saturday night. In a giant pickup, with some of the sweetest guys I knew and my BFF Cathy. And they are STILL some of the sweetest guys I know. (Even if they were probably just letting us drive their truck because Cathy was drop dead gorgeous and they all wanted to get closer to her. haha)

Exhibit B: Freezing at a homecoming football game (with no date) because I wore a skirt. (Lesson to live by:  look cute even when dateless.) That particular game, one of my guy friends gave me his socks to wear and I continued to wear those socks all through college! Ha! (That was Steven - one of my TOP FIVE. Brent? Did you ever give me your socks? lol)

Exhibit C: Cathy, Jason and I watching scary movies at his house. One pillow, one blanket....and Jason sandwiched between two silly high schoool girls hiding their faces every time something was about to happen. Not to mention all those lunch periods when we made him carry our purses into McDonalds while we ran ahead to talk to some other friends. True love.

Moving forward.....

I love my husband with the undying love I never thought possible. None of the guys I ever dated before him could have possibly lived up to the love he has shown me. If you know him, you know that he's not only the nicest human being alive - but he's also hopelessly devoted to me. (Hey Randi - that was just for you...earworm....Grease...) I don't deserve him. And yet, here I am. Blogging about how much I love him!

There's no one I trust more or value more. The mere thought of not having him near me is almost more than I can take. I know I seem like a strong person, and I can almost hear the snickering that I wear the pants in the family. But until you've seen me without Kerry, you have no idea how much I rely on him. He quietly disagrees about something - and I immediately concede. He is the love of my life. I have loved before. But never have I been loved this way before. Even in our darkest moods, we wouldn't want to live without each other. And if it all fell apart tomorrow, I wouldn't regret a single moment.

Then there were three.....

How do you even put into words the love you feel for your children? Is it possible? When I think of my kids, I am overcome with emotion. No matter where life takes them or what they tell their therapists later in life, I will love them with every fiber of my being. And I will spend the rest of my life making sure they know that.

I remember the moment I felt Gracey move inside me. And the second I touched her sweet face. It was the most amazing and scary feeling. She was really OURS. We would be taking her home and caring for her.  When I look at her, I just see that sweet little face and fall in love all over again. Her kindness always astounds me. She's got so much of her father in her spirit. When she loves, it is with everything she's got. No holds barred. She just loves.

I'll never forget the morning I gave birth to Sadie and then saw her and her sister together for the first time. I felt so teary and so fulfilled as a mother. We had two precious girls who would have each other forever. Even when she didn't sleep all night until she was 3 years old, and she began to wreak havoc on her sister at every turn, we couldn't help but laugh. Who couldn't love that face that is basically her father's Mini Me? She's such a Godwin. Full of wit and emotion - and every bit the jokester. She feels everything to the nth degree - and she is loyal to a fault.

And I cherish the sweetest voice saying "I'd like that very much" when Billy agreed to be adopted. I knew at that moment that our family was truly complete. The missing piece had been placed in the puzzle of our lives. Just a simple glance across the room - and that twinkle in his eye. I fall in love with my son all over again everytime we share some silly moment that no one else sees. There's a protectiveness that comes over me when I think of him because I know I wasn't there to protect and love him in the years that he needed me most. I can see that his initial reaction is to hold back and size up the person in front of him. He doesn't love as naturally or as quickly as his sisters because his experiences were so different than theirs. But he loves deeply. It's all or nothing.

In some ways, I think that's the way to love. You either love or you don't....and even if you lose it, you are better for it.

And that leads me to the real question:  How deep is YOUR love? Have you stopped today and thought about the people you love or have loved?  It's worth the journey....


Anonymous said...

You've been blessed.
I don't believe my marriage is anything like that, and I envy you.
Thank you for sharing and for your gift of good grammar and writing.

Anonymous said...

Charee- Thank you for making me cry! I totally "get" it! There is crazy big love for all of us...a bond that is really hard to understand unless you feel it. Who knew Hereford was so important? You are an amazing writer and person. Kerry is super lucky to have you!
<3 Lots of love!
PS Thanks for not, not blogging about me! LOL!

Dawn said...

Great post. I sure hope you tell more about how you came to adopt Billy. I love, love, love adoption stories. And the love you describe for him in deeply touching.

Isn't it wonderful to be married to someone you love and admire? I absolutely adore my husband and find him to be the funniest person I know.

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