The Power of Your “Love Example”©
David J. Pollay , HappyNews Columnist
Have you thought about what your love looks like? Is it warm? Is it kind? Is it accepting? Is it passionate? Is it committed?I learned many years ago that the love we show is the love we teach. “They do not love that do not show their love,” wrote Shakespeare. Our loved ones learn through our example. Fourteen years ago, just off a rural road in Maine, I saw the power of love.My dad pulled our car to the side of the country road. There were no other cars. The sun was shining, and the wind was blowing gently. We stepped out of the car and walked on the gravel towards the cemetery. Mom, Dad, and I came to visit the gravesites of my grandparents. Mom’s parents were buried in the cemetery nestled among small, family farms. Mom and Dad walked hand in hand as we approached the family plot. We were the only ones there.The cemetery was surrounded by an old rock wall hugged by lilac bushes, and framed by maple, pine, and oak trees. For over two centuries the graveyard had been the final home of many of our relatives. As we walked slowly on the recently cut grass, I read the names etched into the tombstones I passed. I wondered how many of these people my grandparents had known. We arrived at the foot of my grandparents resting place.My grandmother had passed first, so she was buried in the family plot to the left. Next to her was my grandfather; he passed away twelve years later. And between my grandfather’s plot and the gravesite of someone we did not know, there was a small patch of grass.Pointing to it, Mom said, “That was for me.”
Dad and I looked down at the ground. There was just enough room for one more plot.
Mom said softly, “My parents wanted to make sure that I was near them if I didn’t marry.”
Dad and I looked at Mom.
Uncertain, I asked, “Do you want to be buried here?”
Mom hesitated. “There isn’t a place for your father,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be without him.”
I looked at Dad. He was staring straight ahead.
Dad put his arm around Mom, and pulled her into him. He kissed her on the top of her head. “I will always be with you,” he said.
He looked at her. “If there’s only one plot, it will be for you. Our boys will just have to lay my ashes around you.” Dad held Mom in his arms. I looked down at the open spot of grass. Mom and Dad reached out to me.
Emily Dickinson reminds us, “Unable are the Loved ones to die / For Love is Immortality.” The example of my parents’ love will be with me always. In his book, Spiritual Evolution, Harvard research psychiatrist George Vaillant, wrote: “Love, like the sacred and our image of God, has a timeless quality.” That day, just off that rural road in Maine, I saw true love. I saw how much my parents loved each other. Every day we have an opportunity to demonstrate our love to the most important people in our lives. So, what is your love example?David J. Pollay book, The Law of the Garbage Truck: Take control of your life with one decision, will be published by Sterling Publishing in September, 2010. You can find out about The Law of the Garbage Truck™ and David’s mission at www.thelawofthegarbagetruck.com. You can also read David’s blog at www.pollayblog.com.