Today's post is by Cindy Wayland.
“Would you be willing to write for the GLCC Ladies’ Blog about someone who has ‘taught you to love?’” I immediately said, “Sure,” and considered about whom I would write. The first person to come to my mind was my dad. He was a police officer, but in spite of his erratic hours, he always made time for my mom, my sisters and our family. When I was a kid and would ask if I could go with him to the hardware store, he would almost always say, “Yes.” We played catch with a softball in our backyard on many occasions. And although I was nearly 40 years old at the time, I saw the ultimate example of his love for my mom when she was undergoing treatment for kidney cancer. My family and I were visiting them in Florida, and I heard her in the bathroom getting sick. Dad dropped what he was doing to go into the bathroom and be with her. Keep in mind that this was a man who grew up in an era when it was usually the moms who took care of the kids when they were sick, so this was not a role that my dad was accustomed to. And the first time I ever saw my dad cry was about a month later, when Mom passed away…. True love.
But then I thought a bit further…..and my thoughts went to my mom….She was the one who WAS home with my sisters and me every day. She told us after we were grown that she chose to be a stay-at-home mom so that she could be there in case we ever needed her. And although we probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, we did need her – beginning when we were infants: she changed our diapers, wiped our noses, tended to our skinned knees, taught us how to get along with others, nursed us back to health when we were sick, and wore her clothes until they were practically threadbare so that my sisters and I could have new clothes every once in a while.
I continued to ponder the question: “Who taught you to love?” My parents, as husband and wife, certainly demonstrated love to me nearly every day! They seldom said a cross word to one another, they enjoyed spending time together, and they were the first ones to teach me about Jesus and God’s love. After Dad retired, one of the first trips they took was to drive across the United States, from Florida to California, and back to Florida. When someone once asked them, “What do you talk about when you spend that much time alone together in the car?”, I remembered my mom answering, “Most of the time, we don’t talk at all.” For her, it was just enough to be with my dad and to enjoy the ride and the scenery as they drove along. One of my favorite photographs of them (which I don’t have, but is hanging in my parents’ house), is a picture of the two of them laughing together. They simply lived, they loved, they laughed.
I could certainly think of others in my life who have taught me to love – my husband, my grandparents, even my in-laws and children. But I think the first people who taught me to love were my mom and dad! And for that, I will be forever grateful!!