There are times where I wish I could just stop caring about people. I have this imagination that makes any movie version of a book pale in comparison to how I imagine everyone looks and their mannerisms. This imagination makes it all too easy for me to put myself in someone else’s place, to feel their pain. Without a doubt, if someone starts to cry I’m going to tear up.
This weekend we visited with Joe’s aunt Jan. I’ve met her once or twice before when we’ve gone up to visit his family in North Carolina, but I’m not super close to her, simply because I’ve not gotten to spend a lot of time with her. But, she said something today that really resonated with how I feel and who I am. She said that once she love’s someone that’s it, there’s no taking it back. And she didn’t mean that in the romantic sense but in the people sense.
When I truly love someone, when I make the decision to make them part of my life and carve out a place in my heart for them, that love doesn’t just go away. There are people I’ve been through thick and thin with, who, at times, I’ve felt have wronged me, but I still love them. In the long run, I’m quick to forgive and forget because in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. (Please note, that doesn’t mean for a good 30 minutes – a day, I might not be mad at you, but generally leave me alone and I’ll get over it)
It was crushing, multiple times this weekend to have to watch people I love and hold dearly to me, have to say their goodbyes to aunt Jan. Because, even though I don’t know her that well, there is something about her spirit that is so wonderful. When she said “Once I love you, I love you” (not a direct quote but that’s the gist, I’m horrible at quotes) it was utterly believable and sincere.
That’s a courageous way to live, with love never ceasing. It leaves you open to be hurt by people, who may mean the best, but often fall short. It means that while they have a place to live in your heart, you’ve given them a chunk of your heart in return. It’s a dangerous way to live, because it is trusting other people to carry you with them and keep you safe. If you want a full life, you should love like that. As scary and terrifying as it can be, it’s worth it, because that love will always be returned to you.
Keep aunt Jan and her family in your prayers.