Friday, September 21, 2012

Telling the People You Love that You Love Them

Over the next three days I will celebrate a beginning and an ending.  Two stories of love.

Tomorrow, my advisee, fellow runner, and friend Jackie will marry Patrick.  I've known Jackie for a little over a year and Patrick for a little less time.  They are two wonderful people.  Two giving people.  Two smiling people.  Two amazing people.   Two people who think so much of others.  Tomorrow we celebrate their promise of love for each other.  I am confident that it will be a long marriage and last through the challenges that all couples face as life goes on.  We celebrate a beginning.

On Monday, the woman who raised the girl that I have come to know as "my oldest son's girlfriend" will be celebrated in a memorial service.  She last her battle with breast cancer and its complications.  I never met her in person.  But I get the sense from listening to Kelsey and from seeing how Kelsey turned out to be such a wonderful and amazing person that her grandmother must have been incredibly loving.  Incredibly caring,  Incredibly strong.  We celebrate a life lived on Monday.  An ending.  People coming together to share grief of what is still in some ways a beginning--the beginning of the challenges of life without the person.  In this case, a grandmother who will be remembered in many kind ways.

Life is full of contrasts.  I could look to Ecclesiastes as a reminder of this.  Of course, while I can look to scripture for a guide, there is really no need to go beyond personal experience.  I know there are ups and downs.  I know there are good times and hard times.  I know there are wonderful times and sad times.  I know there are times I cry tears of joy and times I cry tears of sorrow.  I know that both the beginning and the ending that I will be involved in celebrating mark experiences of love.  A love being promised.  A love being celebrated.

And the beginning and ending celebrations of love remind me of how important it is to share feelings of love--or really appreciation in general--with those around you.  Because of life's unpredictability the promises we make can be ended in ways that always seem too soon after the fact.  It's a good reason not to forget to share the fact of my love with those whom I do love.

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