Who Do You Love?

Today is Valentine’s Day and millions of women are getting roses, diamonds, and lots of other goods.  Men, well, we get a card.  There seems to be some inequity there but, there is not!  I do not have any idea how this day began but it is a pretty nice thing.  But, it also truly is something we should practice everyday.  I try.

I have a very special love for my wife, and a different, but equally as special love for my three daughters.  I have been able to reconcile that age-old question about loving one best.  I love them all equally but differently.  I do not have a favorite.  Each of my daughters is special in her own way and endears me to her in that particular way.  My love for each is shaped by how they endear me which means comparisons are ridiculous.  I sent each a Valentine’s Day card to each.  And my wife gets her own special treatment too of course.

But what about all those other people in my life who I love but do not send cards to?  Where it may be all right to give a card to some, it would be inappropriate to give one to the rest.  That does not mean I have misplaced love.  It simply means it is a different sort of love, one which attempts to respect boundaries.

For some reason my thoughts today went all the way back to when I was in the 8th grade and thought I was in love with one of my classmates.  She was a wonderful person then and is the same today.  I have seen her in recent years and although I do not feel that childhood love, I see her in a very kind light.  She was important at a particular time.  My high school girlfriend gets more consideration.  I know I loved her but I was never in love with her, an important distinction.  Her kindness, gentleness, and understanding have allowed me to keep nice memories of those days.

Then there was my first true love.  I was 21.  She was absolutely wonderful, and even though we were engaged, briefly, to this day there is no doubt that we had a mutual love that was really good.

After that there was a woman who came into my life briefly.  She was in it for only a year but it was a troubling time for me, and a time I was far from home.  She was not only beautiful in appearance, she was particularly beautiful inside.  Try as she might, she was unable to get me to stop taking myself so seriously and have a little fun.  Nevertheless, she stole my heart.  But the relationship was never more than friendship, and not one “with benefits,” as people like to say today.  That is, unless you consider having such a person as a dear friend a benefit, which I do.  She had a heart as big as all outdoors, and she had a personality that attracted nearly everyone she came in contact with.  Once our ways parted I lost contact with her, but that has changed with the advent of facebook, and we have reconnected.  That feels good, just to make that connection, again, with a really good person.

Then there was my former wife.  Even though I married her for all the wrong reasons, I married an extremely good person.  She is a great mother.   She has a huge heart, is generous to a fault, and is a great person to have as a friend.  We are still friends and I value her friendship much more than most other people I know.

There are other people in my life now, friends, who are very dear to me.  I value their friendship hugely.  Those particular friends are ones I consider special, and who I would do most anything for.

My point is, I love all these people.  Some of them even though many years have intervened.  And there are plenty more who I have not mentioned here who I still feel strongly about in one way or another.  All these people either have made a difference or are still making a difference in my life.  I love them, all of them.  Today is a good day to remember each of them and be grateful.

I suggest any who read this take a little time and consider those who have made a difference in your life and consider the idea of having some love for them.  Having well placed love for another person is never a bad thing.


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