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Monday, February 14, 2011

Love never fails...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (From 1 Corinthians 13)
I shared this on Facebook this morning for a Valentine's message, rather than sharing wishes or greetings.  I wanted to make an effort to be sensitive to several friends of mine on Facebook.  My heart has been with those friends, and some of my family members today, as well. 
Even though today is a simple little holiday, as I heard someone say the other day, on Valentine's Day the real winners are the greeting card companiesIt's a day they invented.  Not true, but they do benefit from it!  Let me take that notion a step further to include the florists, the candy purveyors, restaurants, and even wineries, etc.  Also, let's not forget Wal-Mart and Target, of course, all the way to high end department stores. 
Do you agree, or disagree?
I understand the person I mentioned above sentiments completely.  Especially so, since being one who truly isn't into the festivities of any holiday; including my own birthday.  Such days, as special as they may be, just cause me to miss all of my loved ones who have gone on before me, and they also cause me to feel empathy for those who have lost loved one "Valentines".  Yet, still carry them in their hearts.  Not that the loss is ever buried in the back of their minds, but there are significant days the loss can't help but be felt more acutely.  And on this special day, a day that's devoted to our love and relationships with our partners for the most part, I feel for those who aren't able to be with their Valentines for whatever reason. 
Whether they've gone home to be with the Lord very recently, or long ago.  Or, a some time in between.  Whether they are members of our armed services and are away protecting their loved ones (and us) and their beloved country.  It's those separations that makes this special day a poignant one to me and a little bittersweet knowing my Valentine will at least be face-to-face with me later this evening.  While, others I care about, or know about, have a void, or empty spot beside them.  Their face-to-face moments live only in their memories.  
Personally, I've not felt well today.  What I'd planned to make for a special Valentine's supper, I'm back burnering because it's more involved than I feel like dealing with today.  I don't have even have a card to give my hubby, because I like to buy my Valentine's cards in secret without him being nearby in the store.  It's not that I haven't had the time because my hubby has been very busy lately working extra days, and dealing with some family matters that have kept him going up and down the road more than usual.  It's that I've just not had a day in several weeks where I felt comfortable to go off on my own, even for just and hour or so.  In fact, I only had about 5 of those days last year.  In many respects, my hubby is my safety net and my security when we're out and about in public.  On my own, I'm never at ease or comfortable like I used to be. 
So, today is a day, I'm depending on the fact that "love never fails".  And that again, my hubby will have to choose to overlook what I didn't get accomplished.  And how I've not come through with a special gift, or token of my affection, to demonstrate to him what he means to me.  Fortunately, he's understanding more and more about this thing that has taken away a normal life from the both us, can be controlled... only... so far.  That in spite of my "I'm not going ever let it win" attitude, it still must be factored in with wisdom.  And it still wins, sometimes, as much as it distresses me, to admit it.
I'm blessed by having a very patient, kind and loving hubby.  In the for better or worse part of our vows, he's been living in the "worse" for several years now.  What he bargained for all those years ago, he didn't really "get".  Admittedly, that gets to me.
It's caused him to go back to work after retirement to cover my health insurance expense and to help fill in the gap for the income I once contributed to keep us in the black.  Fortunately, he's healthy and has quite a bit of expertise in his field, and does enjoy working.  Yet, I'm sure he'd enjoy being out of the or "worse" vow mode, so he'd have more time to simply enjoy life, things that make him happy, rather than be on the run all of time, and working. 
He does have one very determined wife who still has hopes of having a normal life with him again one day.  In actuality, though, normal for us, has never been "normal".  So perhaps, I should say, back into the "for better" area of our vows.  Rather than the "for worse" phase due to my health issues. 
I've thought off and on about what I could do, or give him, that would be special to him.  In the past couple of weeks I've been thinking back to when he and I first began spending time down at the Hamlet Historic Depot & Museum, and how that was the beginning of things turning around for me.  How God led me there, just as much as He did to buy a pair of pink Crocs and to pick up a camera.  Which led me to needle my hubby about taking some photos of me, not necessarily to share, but so he'll remember special times we spend together doing "normal" stuff -- the stuff that enables me to transcend what's going on up in my brain, and throughout my body.  There is only one series of candid photos taken by him during that time where much of the emotion I feel on the inside, he caught on the outside.  They were taken during our first stroll through Main Street Park (across from the Depot) on October 28, 2008.  Then on to, and alongside the railroad tracks beside the park.  
Off and on since that time, I've received a vareity of compliments and comments on the shots he took of me during that stroll.  And very recently, on Facebook.  Usually, I give him grief over missing feet and hands, or catching my eyes closed, but he worked super hard that day.  In fact, so much so, it's the standard I hold him to these days.  Much to his dismay. 
Then, it dawned on me, that perhaps a profile photo change might be in order to honor this special day for the next year using one of those photos.  Instead of sharing all of them right now, I shared a crop of my most favorite one above.  It's also the shot I've chosen for my new Blogger profile photo.  The only tweak, is that I've chosen to go with a black and white because of the way the contrasted sunlight surrounds my head.  Why?  In my mind, I see that light as God's healing power enveloping my head.  I see it healing my brain to the place it was before the misfires began.  Hopefully, some of you will see His healing touch upon me, too!  Especially, you, Steve.  Only you and I know how far I've come since then, and how far we've come.  We're a great example of how love never fails.
And in my mind, all of us who have or shared our lives with our special Valentines -- two feeted and our precious four legged varieties, we're the real winners!  It's certainly *not* the greeting card companies.  


Anonymous said...

This is a very beautifully written commentary of what you are experiencing in your life, and I am so pleased that you are sharing it with me. Not knowing you personally, I have always felt a connection because of our demographic bind...Cox, Chics Beach, life there in the 70s... I always enjoy your posts and your photography...Godspeed to your good health, and maybe someday, we will meet and exchange stories. Hugs, Karen

Terry Ross said...

Jeanne, I love the photo. I love you. And I love Steve for loving you. Happy Valentine's Day to two of the most dedicated and determined lovebirds I know!


Sharon said...

You and Steve have a true love story every day of the year!

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

Jeanne, my Frankie is my soul mate, best friend and love of my life. No matter what life throws at us, every day with her is a gift for me, and I'm certain Steve feels the same about you. For better or worse? I never give it a thought.

Gigi said...

Oh Jeanne...yes, yes, yes! I see His healing Hand upon you! Keep going, my friend! Keep believing and keep receiving!

And as for marriage, when you are with your forever love, there is no "better or worse"...there's only LOVE. It just is. <3 No special day is needed because every day is a blessing!


JIM said...

Vey well written I do not think your husband needs a card to remind him of your love. Great writing, but please cool it with the photography.. there is enough competition out here without another good photographer lolol

Jeanne said...

Karen, Terry, Gigi, Chip hugs and love to you all for your encouraging words and caring words. Hugs to each of you!

Jim, I'm not about to give up taking photos, literally, it's helped rewire areas in my brain. But not worry, I don't see myself as a photographer. I'm just gal with camera on a mission... :)

Jeanne said...

Sharon, thanks for the reminder. I know in my mind, but admittedly, I get stuck in the living it at times. Hugs.

Debbie said...

First time coming to your blog, loved the post, thanks for sharing with us. I will come back and read more of your writings :))

Mark Waggoner said...

I really enjoyed your post. My fiance has epilepsy, and I know she has some of the same feelings and concerns. I got over the idea that certain days of the year are special long ago. The days that are special now are the ones when she has a good day, is smiling, happy, and feeling "normal." She is far more important than a date on a calendar.