This lesson was learned as I watched a love story from a peripheral position. The person I watched was Tom, a long time resident of our neighborhood. I didn't have the privilege of knowing him or his family beyond a passing greeting, but, our daily paths crossed at a close distance during a particular life season, and that made an indelible mark on my life.
I was knee deep in the childrearing years with all the ongoing responsibilities that typically consume that season of life for a mom with four children. Often, my time felt like sand being greedily gulped through an hourglass. I just couldn’t see beyond or rise above the chaos of my life.
On the other hand, Tom and his wife were in those “Golden Years” that I imagine weren’t as golden as they had hoped. With each passing year his precious wife’s mind and body deteriorated, falling prey to the cruel ravaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Even as a bystander, I could see her decline. It was heartbreaking.
Yet, everyday, until her overwhelming care required a nursing facility, Tom faithfully gathered his wife and took her for a walk in the early afternoon days of fall, spring, and summer.
She was his bride; it showed by the tender way he held her hand. Sometimes they would sit on one of the benches near the playground or tennis courts. I observed his benevolent ways and heard his gentle kind voice as he spoke to her. It was touching, moving, heart softening.
This brand of gentleness can't be fabricated. It was so organic—so authentic.
True sustaining lasting love is often expressed in the simple everyday ordinary things of life. It isn’t in the glitzy commercial expressions of a one day holiday like Valentine’s Day.
Tom taught me so much about sustaining love, and his actions changed the way I lived my own life. His example reminded me of the utmost importance of being intentional with my love for my husband and kids even in the chaos and responsibilities of life. Kindness, intentionality, and faithfulness are ongoing choices and small things really matter.
My sisters, Tom taught me that beautiful moments are so often made in the trenches of hard. And small things over a lifetime are the solid foundation of a legacy of love.
Today, in the quiet of your own heart, ask God to show you how you can be more intentional with showing love for your husband and children.
Verse for the Day:
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:18
Let this precious song, “Walking her Home” by Mark Schultz wash over, touch you, and inspire you to build your own legacy of love.
Author: Maryanne Abbate