It’s the seemingly insignificant moments that often have great meaning in our lives when we allow ourselves to see them in that way. Our hearts and minds are so easily lured to instances of grandeur that we sometimes miss the simple, yet breathtaking beauty of a single act of love shared right before our eyes. A spontaneous hug. An unanticipated answer of yes. A small sacrifice. A willingness to help because there’s a need.
As a mom, the breadth and depth of true love has become so clear. I had read about it, heard about it and sometimes thought that I saw it in others, but never with full understanding. My mom, my friends, even colleagues would describe how there is no greater love than that of a parent for a child. In fact, as a Christian, I knew that the greatest expression of love and sacrifice was that of God the Father for His Son….and for each of us as His children. What I didn’t know was that perhaps one of the most beautiful expressions of earthly love is a single act of kindness offered by the children you adore more than life itself to the parents who continue to love you more than life itself. Therein lies the love connection.
There’s no remarkable story to tell here that defines that connection, just the beauty of the word “yes”. Yes, I’ll come with you as responded by Emma who rarely turns down an opportunity to enjoy her grandmother’s comfort cooking. (She’s made it very clear that no matter how hard I try, I can’t cook like her MeMaw.) It was followed by a yes from Olivia when I explained the trip was a mission of help and love which meant the possibility of work, even though I established no expectations of that, sharing that she could probably go in the lake while I worked. There was even a yes from my husband, followed by questions about what tools he should bring and a borrowing of our neighbor’s weed trimmer. Yes can truly be a beautiful thing.
Upon arrival, the girls could see how hard their grandparents had been working around the gardens, harder than they should have, with leaves in small piles, in need of two healthy young girls to finish bagging them. And they did, followed by assisting their dad in another area while I planted a few shrubs around the fountain. Their assistance wasn’t without sisterly arguments, fights, and scream-filled chases all across the lawn and around the house with Sprite coming out of one and on to the other. (Can there ever really be an “Olivia and Emma” story that begins and ends without the requisite drama that defines who they are?)
While their contribution in the grand scope of lawn maintenance was small – raking and bagging what was left of the leaves – their willingness to do so yesterday was one of the greatest and yet most simple acts of connected love. They knew my parents could use the assistance. I think they also knew how much it meant to me. As we were leaving, I observed Olivia watching my mom, protectively trying to intervene and assist her in holding the leash of their very strong 2 year old Basset Hound “Sophie” as the three of them came outside to say goodbye to the four of us. While she may have exacerbated the excitement more than actually helping to control Sophie, her expression of love and concern for the two people I love so very much was the perfect manifestation of the love connection.