(Editor’s note: The following readers share their thoughts about what love means to them. They responded to a request in the Aug. 26 Persons, places and things column pertaining to a reflection on the John Denver song, “Perhaps Love.”)
Love comforts in sorrow
I thought I knew all about love, until 8.28.09 — “that day” that changed my life.
Christy, my sister of 48 years, was called home; no warning, no time for preparations. It was within that loss, that the meaning of love can be found:
• Perhaps love is watching someone leave this world for heaven, and you find yourself alone with that someone, in a room of people.
• Perhaps love is forgetting to breathe, due to the standing ovation one’s life received on earth and in heaven.
• Or maybe love is thousands of people wanting to share in your pain, and for the first time, you can see right through others’ eyes directly into their hearts.
• Or could love be the feeling of angels coming to surround you, as you stand at a gravesite and look up for “a sign” only to see hundreds of people come walking over the crest of the hill.
• Perhaps love is the weight of pain you carry from missing someone with all your being.
• Perhaps love is a community rallying together during your darkest hours to pray, when you can’t find a word to say.
• Perhaps love is losing the song in your heart, only to have God open the door for the first note to find its way out by pushing through the pain.
• Or is love a heart that beats more strongly because of a life it has known?
Cathy Eggers, Prince of Peace Parish, Clinton
Love is the best part
Last summer, while visiting a grandson’s family in Texas, his 5-year-old son sat close to my side each time we read or played a game. One day I told him, “I love you, Jackson.” He replied, “I love you, too.” I said, “I know; that’s the best part.” Next day, same scenario: “I love you, Jackson.” I love you, too, Grandma.” I responded with the same answer. “I know; that’s the best part.”
Jackson looked at me and told me, “You already told me that yesterday!”
I turned to him and said, “Jackson, I’m going to tell you a secret. When you love someone, it’s wonderful. When someone loves you, it’s wonderful. But when you know that person loves you, that’s the best part.”
The next day it was time to begin our journey home. At the door, I knelt down and said, “I love you, Jackson.” His reply melted my heart: “I know; that’s the best part.”
And that’s what love means to me.
Luanne Pruett, Holy Family Parish, Fort Madison