I saw a video today that asked a long married couple to express their love for one another without using the word ‘love’.
Can I do that for the people I love? I mean, feel strongly about them, and share that, without using that one word?
Mom: you gave birth to me. How can I possibly feel about that? How can I repay you for what you gave me: Life. Without that no one would be reading this. Or any of the other gazillion words I’ve written. My siblings would not have had their oldest sister to torment and call “Pinky Stinky”. Well, maybe I need to rethink this part. But yes, without you, there is no me.
Siblings: as I just referenced, you all called me Pinky Stinky for years. So, I think I will skip those years. Now that you just call me “Pink” or “Pinky” you are more tolerable. And I look back at my childhood and wouldn’t want to have any other siblings. Mostly because of how you turned out, not because you created horrible nicknames. You were the kickball team in the backyard, the ‘first bounce or fly’ gamers in the street in front of the house. You were the pancake for dinner group that knows what a true and good pancake tastes like. You were the singing group of former non-fame that sang “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road”, “We Don’t Give A Damn For The Whole State of Michigan”, and “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley”. As a group we created the “peace sign” movement in the USA by hanging out of the back of dad’s pickup on the interstate flashing the “peace sign” to every semi driver we saw. We may have also been the reason why the USA initiated child safety laws for vehicles.
Friends: what would I do without someone to cuss with? Laugh with? Go on hiking adventures. Go explore. Roll my eyes at the world with. Lament the loss of the world’s common sense with. Praise the good deeds of wonderful people with. Who else but friends would listen to me blather on and on and on. And just listen. Who would I pose questions to that I wouldn’t ask of just anybody? Who would have my back when I didn’t know my back has to be had? Who will tell me the truth when the truth isn’t what I want to hear. You do. My friends.
Children: you gave my life value that nothing else possibly could. You made my heart beat stronger. You made me strive to be powerful. You taught me what it was to be both ferocious, and gentle. You make me want to find the utmost good in the world and surround you with it. You make me want to be the utmost good and surround you with it. You, created a world for me, that did not exist before you.
And this, of course, leads to the Grandchildren: I never thought, after having my own children, that I could experience anything as powerful as that. Yet, I did. There you are. Walking talking heartbeats. With you I know life goes on. I go on. From me, through your parents, to you….I exist. For you I want to clean up this world. For you …. have expanded my world and surprised me with eternity.
Family: You are comfort and strength. Knowing we exist connected by unbreakable bonds makes me feel like the world is fortified just by your existence. Knowing that rippling out there into eternity the ribbons that tie me to family everywhere… It empowers me.
Spouse: My Husband. My friend. I only have to say one word and you will know what it means. And that it means everything. “Most”. Forever and ever amen. Without you I would be less. In your eyes I am absolute. And that, is everything. And everything, is what you do for me, give to me, and are for me.
How in the world did I ever get so blessed to have a life so full of love, even without love, in it.
Thank you, my loveless world, thank you.