It's been a long week, with lots of work and household chores on my to-do list, and as the weekend looms large, there is still no respite. As your ABC book so eloquently reminds me, L for Laundry awaits. There are many who believe that Love, the L in my book, is all about ecstasy and harmony. But the truth is that the ecstasy is short-lived. Just like the laundry, once washed clean, doesn't magically stay that way. A lifetime of clean laundry demands multiple cycles of washing and rinsing. And so it is with Love. You have to keep working at it. There may or may not be violins and harpsichords playing in the background. But there will be laundry to be picked up, washed and dried and put away, snotty noses to be wiped and snores to be put up with.
When my grandmother was on her deathbed, your grandma and her older sister tended to her with a love that never complained, a love that even the bed sores could not disgust. Where does such love come from?
Love, as a noun, is an emotion, what a songwriter called "a many-splendoured thing." But that kind of love is so big, it seems unreal to us mere mortals. Love, as a verb, love that willingly, with a cheerful heart, does what needs to be done is hard. It consists of meals cooked and served, beds made, bills paid, bogeymen scared, stories told at bedtime and mealtimes, boo-boos kissed, leaky taps fixed and a thousand little acts accomplished for the sake of someone special. For love is an act of the will. The movies may propound what they will. Take it from me, love is something that happens to you, sure, but to make love last, you have to make it happen. Every day. Another thing, not entirely unrelated: don't be too quick to imagine yourself in love. Give your heart only when you are absolutely sure that it is the real thing. And when you do give your heart, be even slower to give your body. In fact, I don't know how old fashioned or retrograde this might sound when you're old enough to think along these lines, but my advice to you is, Let your body be a gift that your spouse and you will unwrap for the first time.
My wish for you is that your life may be blessed with love in abundance. That you may never forget that love needs a lot of hard work to thrive. Heavy stuff this! You can chew on it over the weekend. I'll see you on Monday. Lots of love, Mamma