What is LOVE?
I think about love a lot. I write about love a lot. As a romance author, I love love.
This weekend I thought more about love. We went to a walk to raise funds for ALS research and treatment, and I got to see love in action. Loud, loyal, unquestioning, relentless love.
People gathered at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket for the walk. We had a large family/friend group there to support Paul. There were teams there with people in various stages of ALS, and groups there to honor ones lost to ALS. Everywhere you looked, people were hugging. Laughing. Loving, even in the shadow of this horrific disease.
Then I looked at our team in specific. Siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, loves. Ranging in age from 20 to 80+. And we were there together, to walk, to honor, to support.
For some members of our team, it was the first time they’d seen someone in the later stages of ALS in person. For others, just being in crowds was stressful. One was struggling with a nasty cold. And no matter what, we were all there for the same reason, love.
As we walked, we laughed, we remembered, we planned. We laughed about one team member finding sunflower seeds in between bench cushions. We laughed again when that one touched the outfield grass. We reminisced about going there to games as a family and talked about Sam. We took tons of pictures. We watched grandsons make sure their Memeres were safe in the crowd. We watched sons and fathers walk together. We smiled as we received text messages of support from around the country.
In the end, I realized love is being there, no matter what. Love is caring and expressing that caring, even if you can’t be there in person. It is standing and holding someone’s hand as they look the truth, or the future, in the eye, even as their knees shake. It is putting others before our selves.
How incredibly fortunate we are to be surrounded by such love!