Love, love, love
April E. Clark
I like to live by the Beatles’ mantra that all we need is love. Love is all we need. Not to mention a good mattress. Because honestly, a good night’s sleep makes a world of difference.
A little love every now and again never hurts, either.
I admit that in adulthood, I haven’t been as lucky in love in as my 16-year-old self imagined. Back then, when I fell in love for the first time, I dreamed up a storybook romance to last the ages involving high school sweethearts exchanging vows and a bunch of kids learning to play baseball on the fields down the road from where I was raised. It could happen.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
Lately I’ve spent a lot of time in the small town where I grew up, as my family grieves the loss of two grandparents in a less than half a year. When I think about them, I can’t believe I was just sitting at their house having Christmas dinner and opening the gift certificates to our favorite restaurants. That was always a special treat to us from them. I still can’t believe they’re both gone that fast.
Our holidays will never be the same.
I understand wholly that with life comes change. Like love at first, there’s no stopping it. Change is as much reality as the federal government shutting down when Congress can’t agree on a spending bill or a woman going through menopause. Both are as about as fun as that first-love break-up, I’m sure. I sure hope someone figures out that hormonal balance thing in the next decade or so.
The jury’s still out if Congress will ever get it together.
Change happens. Love is lost. Jobs come and go. We may experience sickness, and if our bodies allow, heal. People leave us. But if they loved you as much as you loved them, they stay with us in our hearts until we move on to the next phase ourselves.
I’m forever grateful both my grandparents were able to tell me they loved me before they passed.
We could all easily be overwhelmed with the bad. It’s everywhere we turn these days. The Internet is a breeding ground for it. Sometimes the sadness is so heavy it can feel like a wet blanket that snuffs out a person’s dreams like a doused match. Then, like the spark a storybook romance can bring, there is light.
My family had a big reason to smile this weekend. My big brother Marty married an old friend from high school, Shelly, who we love dearly.
With all the ugliness on the Internet, there is some light.
The moral of that story is, it’s not all bad. They reconnected on Facebook. Marty and Shelly have been there for each other during the good times and the bad. That’s what makes their love grow stronger. I am so happy for my brother. He’s the guy who loves me no matter how much I bugged him as a pesky little sister or got on his nerves when we debated about which is better, the Mac or the PC.
These days, he would probably say, “I told you so.”
All families go through pain and heartache, on different levels. Ours is no exception. But we are McAnanys, and we are tough like our Irish ancestors. Each of us has lost the ones we love, also on different levels, and we deal with it in our own ways. But the reason we have been brought together as a family is to love. My parents taught me and my big brother to love with all our hearts and never waiver when it comes to our hearts.
That may be my downfall.
Or that could be my saving grace. Time, or destiny, will tell.
No matter what, love is all I need.
— April E. Clark wishes her big brother and new sister a life of love and happiness. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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