Growing up was hard and lonely; emptiness filled her heart as she waited for her mum to return again. Her mum had no time for her or her brother John however, she preferred working the cruise ships and traveling the world. It didn’t seem to matter, time came and went, and her mum was out the door yet again, drifting the open seas towards some destination and farther from her. This left her to live with her Nan and John. Soon too though, John left her and went into the Army. Leaving her with Nan, and the ever-growing emptiness in her heart. When her mum did return, she made time for fun and boyfriends more than anything. It was as if this thing called love was meant for everyone but her. As if love was a scarce commodity, and no one had it to give or the time to give it. Surely, she was worthy enough for someone to love her? But even her dad had a new family, somewhere…
Days turned into years, and finally she found this thing called love from an American airman. They got married and left Britain. They traveled to the United States where his family lived, leaving behind her past and any old wounds that might be buried with it. John returned to England after the Army, and created his own family. She had three girls, and eventually one bad divorce. This thing called love, apparently didn’t stick around too long, and she like her mum, went looking for it in all the wrong places, not realizing it was right there all along. Her mum by the way, followed her from England and straight into the heart of Texas. Through the years, it was just the five of them except for one bad relationship with a boyfriend from time to time. Her, mum and three little girls, except when their dad took them for the weekends. She learned Photography, it became her passion and she was good at it.
As the years went by, she watched her girls grow into adults with children of their own. She even dated through their teen years and fell in love again, but though it lasted for years, it didn’t last. She spoke with John at times from England and he even visited a couple of times with his family. Those were precious moments to her and very dear to her heart. John was what was left of the painful and bittersweet memories of her childhood. The ache was still there, it would never leave. She sometimes pondered her Nan who was now gone, and the dad somewhere in England. With only fragments of memories to sift through, she could somehow recall that somewhere she had other siblings besides John. Then one day, she spoke to her dad from England and learned she had three sisters and two more brothers. It was bittersweet and the dad she barely knew, knew that he loved her. This thing called love could hurt and feel good at the same time if it wanted.
As more years came and went, this thing called love was ferocious and could bite if you let it. She learned though, that hate was not the answer and the love she searched the world for was right there with her daughters and grandchildren. It seemed nevertheless, the world had grown even darker and as the years went by, she watched her grandchildren grow into adults. As time raced by, she witnessed the battles her daughters fought, even the battles they sometimes brought on themselves, knowing they had to learn for themselves about this thing called love. She cried tears for the pain her grandchildren put on themselves and one grandson in particular she could not help. This grandson somehow grew darker and colder with the world, yet she loved him and her heart broke for him. If she had to, she would die for him, she would die for her whole family if it would save them. Yes, she knew what this thing called love was, for it burned in her heart deeper than the deepest ocean. It wasn’t a rare thing to give, you could share it with anyone and it would never run out. This thing called love, you could share it with the world and it would never run out.
I dedicate this to my mom Hazel, who was murdered in March of 2017. She did finally speak to her dad before he died. Unfortunately, she never got to hear that he left her an inheritance in his will. My sisters and I just found out that the dad she loved, would keep a picture of her by his chair. Her brother John died of an autoimmune disease several years ago which broke my mom’s heart. The last person she loved in her life, although they broke up, committed suicide and her journals tell of her broken heart for her brother, her dad, her own mom and him. My mom loved deeply and she lost deeply but she never stopped loving and loved deeper because of it. She was an animal lover so much that we thought maybe she had too many at times but she would say, that “When people hurt her, animals were the only thing that didn’t.”
We love you mom, and we are learning from you, what this thing called love is all about. Jesus is the ultimate love and knows our pain, He knows what each of us go through.