We were made to be emotional beings. Some might say, that’s what separates us from animals, though that could be debated. However, to feel emotion is to be alive. Joy and happiness are things we strive for. Though, to invite one emotion into your temple, is to open the door for others.
Love is one such emotion. We pursue it with every ounce of our being, at times, never realizing that life is full of balance. So to know love, is to breed pain. I am no different, and I realize that love is something that I strive not only to find, but to be able to give. But it’s that balance that I occasionally think of. I know that love is a one way street, with speed limits of 65 plus miles an hour signs, and sharp curves that eventually lead to a dead end. Full speed into hurt. Many (myself included) have experienced that crash and though we, up until this point, have come out alive, we wear those scars. Some of us wear them more prominently than others, but even if we cover them up in bright colored clothing, sporting a smile, the scars still exist.
Even more scary is that even if you’ve had a successful run with love, it all eventually comes to an end. Almost seven years ago, I experienced the loss of my mother. And though I can’t begin to explain the pain associated with that loss, I know as I looked into my fathers eyes, there was no pain greater than his. It got me thinking about how they did all of the right things. They came up from the ghetto to be successful business people, moved to the suburbs so their family could have a better life. They raised three kids with level heads on their shoulders, and through their trials and tribulations found a way to make their marriage work by showering their love on one another. Sometimes in grand fashion, and in ways that I have no knowledge of. Yet, on that day we laid my mother to rest, my father was a broken man. It wasn’t fair. She, at the age of 48, was taken prematurely from a man that wanted nothing more than to go into old age with the women he loved.
It’s an extreme thought, but I began to wonder if it was worth it. If no matter if you do everything right, or if you screw up constantly, your reward is pain, is it worth it? That’s a narrow view, and as time wore on it became less and less of a concern. As a rational human being, I know that the road in between; the things you do with one another to make each other happy, far outweighs the pain of the loss. That includes losses due to your normal break ups. But every once in awhile, I’m reminded that even if you do everything right..even if you nurture your relationship, make sacrifices, and let God be your guide, it all ends one way or another. That’s a scary thought.
These rare and fleeting thoughts do not prevent me from trying my hand at love. Living without it seems unfathomable, and though we have many reasons to live, giving and receiving love is still towards the top of that list. But I can’t deny that occasionally, I may look into the eyes of the one I love, and shiver at the thought of losing her prematurely. Regular break-ups may inspire signs of relief and rebirth, depending on your situation. In those situations, you probably see the dead end coming and are able to brace yourself for the impact. It’s the surprise curve, marked with a brick wall signaling a dead end that scares me. No warning, great weather,open roads, and just when you’re ready to start cruising. Maybe it’s different for those who make it to an old age together. Maybe they’re better prepared. I just can’t imagine losing my love that has driven that road of life with me for so long, in such final fashion. I just pray that I enjoy it to the fullest while I have it (insert all of the cliche’s about cherishing those we love while their here because you never know how long they will be here). It’s those things that make it worth it. Love’s joy, is greater than Love’s pain. (sigh)