We were walking out behind them as they sauntered along ahead of us, traveling through the automatic sliding hospital doors, into the mid-day sunlight. He was holding her arm with the left hand, her black and white toile purse snugly tucked underneath his right. She had a cane, but he had her. He stopped to look for traffic, gently fielding the view. She stood by his side, a pillar of strength, in spite of her limp. And while it was easy to see that they were certainly on in years, as evidenced by their grey hairs and weathered skin, their love told a story that transcended time. It was timeless, that story.
There was just something about those two that caught my eye.
Dear Daughters, while you are all still so young, with so much of life ahead of you waiting to be discovered, there is still something you must consider in the prime of your youth. Something that must be contemplated and then carefully taken into account. Please don’t get me wrong: I am not there yet, not ready for you to fly the nest. Not ready for the surge of emotion that accompanies young love. For I am still so protective of my babies and their naive innocence. Still so protective of you, my girls, so much so that I need to find just the right words to say this to you now.
Girls, find someone who will cherish you.
Make the love of your life the one who seeks to live his life with you as his love. Don’t settle for halfway, second best, good enough. Set your standards high. Make him reach for you. Reach back to him, but be sure you are looking at one another eye-to-eye.
Make the love of your life the one who listens to you with his whole heart, with all his love. Don’t tell yourself that this is a negotiable. Believe that you are worth it. See yourself as someone of superb value, someone worth listening to.
And make the love of your life the one who shares with you his love. Shares his dreams and hopes, along with his sorrows and disappointment. Regard yourself as the complementary piece that balances his life. And see that he regards in you the very same ideals.
The wisdom of established love is exquisite. It is a rare and beautiful thing to find that kind of love and keep it until death parts. A rare and beautiful thing to actually cherish that love, even in the living years. These years of life are hard and they will try you. Find first the One who will cherish you above all others, and in doing so, finding love that will last your whole life long will be that much easier.
Find love. Hold onto it. And never let it go.
My wish as your mother is that you Three one day find yourselves standing hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm with the Love of your life. Maybe you will be at the curb supporting yourself with a cane, while he tenderly cradles your purse under one arm. Maybe your story has a different ending. Whatever the outcome, may you always find yourself together.
Holding onto each other.