Bit of Happy #21: Have you ever fallen in love?

12 Oct

My great grandmother, G.G.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with truth. It hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13

On Sunday night, we had a bunch of family over to visit with Amanda while she was home from college for her mini-fall break. After dinner, most of the family was outside, but around the dining room table sat my sister, her new college friend, Margot, my great grandmother, G.G., and I. My great grandmother was born in 1913 and has some incredible stories from her childhood to her adult years. Margot, who doesn’t have any family members over the age of 60, was in awe over G.G.’s experiences and hardships. I had already heard most of the stories she was telling on Sunday night, but I can honestly say that I never get tired of hearing them over and over again.

But it was one thing she said that night that really struck me. That turned my world upside-down. That either destroyed my hopes or encouraged me even more to find what I’ve been looking for in life. (I haven’t decided which one yet.)

G.G. told us briefly about her childhood, but elaborated more on when she was a teenager. About how she got pregnant and married her son’s father soon after. Her husband began running around with another woman and when she found out about it, she had him sent to fight in World War II. (Yeah, she was a feisty thing.)

Meanwhile, she met a man from work that she grew close to while her husband was away at war. He confessed his love for her, but she knew she was a married woman, and her first priority was her son. She knew her son loved his father and said, “Every child deserves to be with their father.” So she told us that she could never run off with the man from work – that her place was at home. Whether she truly loved him, she’d never know.

Even once her husband returned from the army, back into her arms, the man from work would show up drunk to their house and sit out on her doorstep until morning. G.G. said she never had the courage to face him and would always make her husband go out and tell him to go home. G.G. recited her husband’s words, “Come on, buddy. It’s time to go home.” The man from work would startle from his drunken sleep and slowly walk himself home.

At this point, I looked over at Margot. Thick tears had rimmed her eyes ready to spill over as she clung to every word G.G. said. “Have you ever fallen in love?” she asked.

It was G.G’s response that reached me to the core of my soul.

“You know, I’m really not sure. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been in love – even after all this time.”

**********************************************************************

After 97 years of life and with a response like that… Is it supposed to inspire me to go out and never give up on finding love? Or should it discourage my hopes in one day falling for someone who can give me the same love in return? By lowering my hopes, will it save me from being let down?

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could watch her go through life. Be there through her experiences. See the world the way it once was. Back when the ice man would come and bring her a block of ice to keep her refrigerator cold. Or when the first radio and television set came out. Back when things were simple. Easy.

Everyone says back then things were much simpler. But after hearing some of her stories – I second guess that statement. She has been through a lot in her life. Things that I’ll probably never know or find out. But when she revealed to us that she felt as though she’d never been in love… I think all of our hearts crushed a little. For her. For the future.

I hope I never give up on love – not until the day I die. More than anything else, I want to learn and experience what it is like to love someone unconditionally. I look at today’s quote and wonder, as humans, if that type of love is even attainable, or if it is just something to strive for. Either way, I want to go through this life with someone else, someone special. It’s an unclear, difficult path to maneuver  through- life is. Sometimes you never know which way to go, who to trust, what choices will become mistakes, and what will come next. But I don’t ever want to lose hope in the future because that’s all we have to look forward to in love. What is to come.

And for those of you who have already found love… Never take it for granted. Live every day as full and as well as you can with that person. Take life and experience all that you can. And look to this quote for guidance in times of weakness. In times of difficulty. In times of doubt. You’re a lucky one. Always keep that in mind.

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4 Responses to “Bit of Happy #21: Have you ever fallen in love?”

  1. Bobby Bouche October 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    yeppers, you know you will not give up on that, heck, I know you won’t give up on that lol. It is just too self-evident that it is one of the few intangible things I know you believe; even when you may doubt yourself, deep down, you know you are still marching, still yearning. People may settle for companionship, but I believe it is human nature to continually to search for love.

    • Stephanie Frances October 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

      Would you settle for companionship? Or would you hold out for ‘true love,’ even if it meant waiting forever?

  2. Bobby Bouche October 14, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Now granted, I am not the romantic you are, I certainly would not settle, even if it meant waiting forever. No second thought about it. It just would not be fair to either party. But I also think people mistake “true love” for a sense of infatuation, and miss the basic root of what love is, the love your quotation defines. At the same time, I do not believe it is as mystical and hard to find as people paint it to be. Love is love, simple as that, and found when someone else is more important than yourself in every stretch of the imagination. It’s the work you put into it to gain the rewards that makes it last forever.

    And on another note, not that I can truly make an educated comment on your conversation with GG, it does not sound like she settled either. She chose her first love, her son. It’s just a different type.

    • Stephanie Frances October 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

      Wow, you have an incredible point. One that I hadn’t considered until you brought it into the light. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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