When I think of my grandpa, I think of love in all of it’s forms.
And every thought of him, blankets me in love;
I can almost feel his intentional gaze upon me and smell my grandmothers cooking and hear Telemundo on the TV in the background.
Thoughts of him, thoughts of them, are still so very real to me, fresh.
And I never want to experience a day where it isn’t so.
A day where the memories feel more like pictures that I’ve seen rather than moments that I’ve experienced.
When I think of my grandparents, I think of the importance of family, and how necessary it is for love to be the centerpiece.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, but I know that I want to touch on two very significant pieces of life: love and loss.
Everyone will experience both in their lifetime, and everyone will feel its effects change them in some way. Love and loss both have the capacity to make you stronger, but also weaker, and to make you better, but also break you.
I think loss truly pushes us to appreciate what we have and in a way, loss forces us to love harder. Loss has an aggressive way of trying to knock sense into us, yelling “look around, look at who and what you have, appreciate what’s in front of you, because it won’t always be there.” And it’s true.
If there’s something I’ve taken strongly since my grandparents passing, it is this:
It may seem as if we have all the time in the world, but we do not. We are not guaranteed another 10 years, we are not even guaranteed another ten minutes. Most of us do take for granted our loved ones, and it is easy to allow little things to get in between vital moments, moments we will not get back. So your mom is lecturing you again about your future, don’t storm off and lock yourself in your room. One day, you’ll wish you spent those three or four hours with her rather than being stubborn in your room. I think we all need a wake up call, we all need a spirit of love to come alive and overflow out of us. We need to see our present, our surroundings for what they are and take advantage of what’s in arms reach. My grandma, she’s not in arms reach anymore, and though I’d love for her to be, that longing has only made me more aware of who I do have in arms reach.
I believe there needs to be a greater emphasis on the importance of family. I believe we need to open our hearts to loving deeper and more intentionally.
I think what makes me the most sad when I think about my grandparents, is thinking about their house, the environment. In my memories, the house just feels warm and untouchable, like all of us great-grand-kids, and grand-kids, and kids, and friends who turned into family were a force. We were united in that house as one, in a place where we were home, a place where we were safe, a place where love grew.
Shortly after my grandpa died, I got a tattoo, one that I felt captured his spirit. It came from a verse in the bible: “three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” The words in bold, those are imprinted on my side as a reminder that the greatest gift we are given, the greatest gift we will ever receive, and the greatest gift we can give, is love.
The world needs more love. Now more than ever, we need a spirit of love to take a hold of us. We shouldn’t need loss to show us what we had when we have love to show us what we have. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t let yourself regret not spending enough time with this person or that person. Use the present to take time to appreciate what’s in front of you. Don’t let today slip away, don’t allow your heart to go unused. Open your eyes, and open your hearts to those around you.
Give love permission to rule your life and see what beauty it unfolds.
Allow loss to break you and then mold you into something even more magnificent.
It’s okay for loss to create a small hole in your heart. A person once lived there, so of course there’s a hole that only that one person can fill. And what a gift it is to have loved someone enough that a piece of your heart disappeared when they did. But when the hole creates aches, let that be a reminder to see the world around you and love a little harder and appreciate a little deeper.
Awareness creates change, change awakens growth, and growth stirs up love.
With or without loss, love needs to be a constant, stirring force within us.