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Category Archives: love

“The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.”  Albert Einstein

Isn’t that the truth? First of all, think about when you were a child. You had a sense of wonder about everything, because everything was new to you. Children believe in things that adults often don’t, because no one (yet) told them not to. As a child, we are trusting. We will smile at someone that adults would turn away from. We have not yet learned prejudice, judgement, or fear. Children are accepting. They will be a friend to those that the world scorns.

As a child, we are always learning, always asking questions, and always wanting to know more. There is simply not enough time to understand all we want to grasp.

Children have an innocence–a purity that is like freshly fallen snow.  And in that innocence there is such a freedom, to be who they are. The world quickly tries to steal that.

And think about the magic of dreams. As a teenager, we think we can do anything, be anything. The whole world lies before us, and it’s a time when we refuse to face our own mortality, because we feel completely immortal, and invincible. While it may not always be the wisest thing, perhaps it is necessary to see ourselves this way, in order to propel us forward into all that the future holds.

As a young adult, we do not fear extreme sickness or death. That only happens to old people, and we are vital and strong, full of hope and anticipation–ready to conquer the world.

Love is an ethereal thing, a feeling of pure ecstasy and passion. We think it will last forever, and throw all caution to the wind. We are not measured with our feelings, or careful with our show of affection. We simply blurt out “I Love You” every chance we get, and blow kisses on the wind.

So when did all this change? When did we become jaded about life? When did we cease to believe in childhood fantasies? When did we stop smiling at the outcasts of society, and start turning and running away? When did we stop trusting? When did we lose our sense of wonder and amazement about life? Who took our innocence? When did we begin to fear, and start to focus on our limitations?  When did words of love become fewer and fewer? When was passion replaced with indifference? (Which by the way, is truly worse than hatred.) When did we become cautious and guarded? When did we lose our dreams?

There is a time to grow up and mature–a time to put away childish things, but there is never a time to discard our childlikeness. We cannot even enter the Kingdom of Heaven (according to Jesus) unless we become like a little child.  He said “Of such is the Kingdom of God.”

I challenge you today– don’t let these things die, while you still live. Let a sense of awe remain in your heart all the days of your life. Be innocent and pure, without prejudice or arrogance. Don’t lose your childhood sense of freedom.  Be accepting of those that the world rejects. Crave Godly knowledge, for there is always something new to learn right up until your last breath (and even beyond.) Don’t be afraid to express your love, and do it today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

Believe in your inner strength. You can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens you. He tells us that as our days are, so shall our strength be. Always sufficient strength and grace for each new day–whatever we may face. Do not fear, but walk in faith.

Keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep believing! Keep searching for the Truth with all your heart and soul. Refuse to let these things die.  And while the way may be rough at times (as surely it will be) it will never be said that your life was tragic, because you truly lived each day, and knew what it was to be free…

Okay, so it’s not that my childhood was all that good, but it had its good moments. It had a lot of good moments the first 7 years, when my mom and I lived with my grandparents. (I don’t think they were particularly good moments for her, but they were the best years of my childhood.)  My parents divorced when I was two, and my mom and I lived with my grandparents for awhile. After that, I had to grow up much too fast.

My grandparents had flaws (as we all do) that were visible as I matured. But when I was a little girl, I didn’t see them. I only saw love in everything they did. My papa (pronounced “papaw”) always brought me Juicy Fruit gum when he came home from work, and my grandmother (who was more like my mother during those years) took such good care of me. She kept me so clean, that I took around a newspaper to sit on the ground (lol-probably the source of  my too hygienic nature these days.)

She and I had a kindergarten before the concept was so well known. We picked up pecans from the yard, pasted things on jars, sang and danced, and shared a lot of love. I used to sit in the kitchen while she baked a cake, waiting patiently to lick the spoon and bowl, but mostly just happy to be anywhere near her. She was love in its purest form. And it may truly be the greatest love I ever experienced in my life.

I remember her filling a small tub basin with water in the backyard in Macon, Georgia on sunny summer days, and letting me play in it. Could I have felt more secure? Most probably not.

Life was so good, and I knew nothing else. I could not know the pain that life would bring, or the sorrow I would have to endure as I grew. I only knew security, and I was allowed for a short while, to be an innocent little girl, in a pink sun-suit and a pony tail. It was the most secure time of my life, and sometimes when I’m feeling blue, I go back there in my mind, and remember what it was like to be happy and little…

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

I was busy trying to get dressed when my guests arrived for Christmas dinner. I had been cooking all night, and afternoon, so I got my shower at the very last minute. By the time I got the fire going, the meal cooked, the presents wrapped, the candles lit, the table set, etc., I really needed a “Calgon take me away” moment. (If you’re too young, this won’t mean anything to you.)

My mom is an insulin dependent diabetic with lots of other health problems. She has rheumatoid and osteoarthritis also. Her legs have almost refused to work in the last couple of weeks, so she was not able to scale my stairs to the kitchen. (Yes, we have an upstairs kitchen. Long story-but we were in our 20’s and wanted a lake view from the kitchen and living room.) Great idea when you’re in your late 20s…not so great when you’re in your middle 50s. At any rate, I went down to the family room (where we were going to eat) and greeted her. She handed me a little unwrapped gift, much to my surprise. (This was in addition to a money gift she gave my husband and I for Christmas.) I couldn’t believe it. You know from my blog, how grumpy she had been all week, and almost mean at times. (Okay…mean for sure, at times.) Well it was a crystal teddy bear, holding a rose, in a little pink heart shaped box. She said, “Read what it says.”

I read the inscription in the top of the box:

“Always In My Heart”

I wonder if you know

How special you are?

You are so dear to me

Always in my heart.

(Very touching.) I think it was her way of apologizing for some of the things that have happened lately. And if I stop and think about this carefully, it may be that all the love I have been craving from her, is right here in a little heart shaped box.

(This one’s by Bette Midler, not LeAnn Rimes like it says)

I set my alarm for an earlier time, and then decided to go back to sleep. I slept a very long time, and figure that I must have needed to.  I finally got a little decluttering done today, organized some Christmas purchases, and made a few of my Christmas baskets.

I love to take a theme for a person, and arrange things in a gift basket to suit them. The first gift basket that I gave this year, was for my counselor. I know that God placed us together, as she helped me during the days when my stepfather was in the hospital dying, and afterwards as I faced being a caregiver for my mom. I fixed her a lovely assortment of desk items. I included a letter opener, a business card holder for her office, and one for her purse, with a high heel shoe and a rhinestone on the front. (Very girly.) I also bought a fancy small stapler. The desk items had flowers and rhinestones on them, and they all matched. There was also a trinket box with sequins, an emerald green perfume bottle, some stationery, and a card. She means a lot to me, and her basket was important. She loved everything, and immediately took her business cards out of her plastic holder on her desk, and put them in the decorative one.

If you would like to read more ideas on Christmas baskets, here’s my article : http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/420839/christmas_gift_baskets_with_a_theme.html

Tonight I played with a doll baby that I bought for a great niece. The baby made various sounds when you pushed its hands or feet, or gave it a bottle. (It cried, it giggled, it gurgled, and made one sound that I had my doubts about-lol.) I had the most fun with it, and my husband was quite amused also. It has been awhile since my daughter was a little girl, and I bought dolls for her.

I worked on my mom’s Christmas basket, and I was saddened that I no longer get to make one for my mother-in-law, as she is in assisted living in a town pretty far from us, in central Florida (near her 2 other sons), and doesn’t want or need a lot of extra items around, so we have been resigned to giving her pajamas or socks, or something of that nature (by request), but it just doesn’t seem right.

I also worked on a Christmas basket (with stocking stuffers) for my teenage daughter (19). I thought back over all the years that I bought her Christmas gifts, and filled her stockings. It seems so long ago, and yet it seems like yesterday. She has moved out again recently, and says she wants to spend Christmas Eve at home. I was glad that she wanted to be here for that night. We always have a simple, but enjoyable brunch on Christmas of warm cinnamon buns, orange juice and coffee. She remembers this tradition throughout the years, and doesn’t want to miss it. It is our best “immediate family” time.

So, as I am finally getting a little of the Christmas spirit, I find that memories are bittersweet. I miss my birth dad, my stepdad, my grandparents, and others who have gone on. I also think of all the ladies on our Grief Discussion Board who have lost their husbands (or another close loved one), and are fighting back the tears daily, during this holiday season. As sad as it is to be Moderator on the Main Board there, and to have to deal with death daily, it reminds me to never take my loved ones for granted, for we are not promised forever here on earth.

So, tomorrow I will continue my cleaning, trying to get the house prepared for Christmas guests, for food, and games and laughter (and sometimes tears.)

And I realize that I am the one who is the “glue” at this time for my family-the one who brings us all together to celebrate. I wonder how much longer we will continue to gather, and if it will end with my mother’s passing, because the group is already shrinking. But for now…I have an opportunity to create special memories for those I care about. And the greatest gift that I can give them is my love…