...everything but love...
Our boy was happy to see us on Valentine's Day. We came at dinner time. When he heard our voices he turned. "My sweet beloved mom and my sweet beloved dad are here!" Several of his friends looked up and the collective whispered acknowledgement "Lacy's mom and dad," went around the table.
I'd found a little stuffed dog with big, round eyes and a heart around his neck - Eye Love You. Lacy has always had an affection for stuffed animals, so I knew he would like this one; and he did. We waited as he finished his dinner; waited as he went to the door to speak to people who are not there. We waited until he was able to stop and look at us for those few precious moments of connection.
Kenny and I wanted to take advantage of the eye contact and the amiable mood "Can we have a hug?" Smiling that sweet Lacy smile, he reached to put his arms around our shoulders to hug us lightly. "A kiss?" I asked. He leaned ever so slightly my way for a kiss on his cheek. "I love you" we both whispered.
"I love you," Lacy responded with that same beatific smile.
We talked for a few minutes and I took advantage of that good mood three more times as I hugged and kissed my boy; "I love you Lacy. I love you so much." He was quiet but still smiling. Then, his eyes began to look elsewhere, his body language said it was time to go. We promised to return in a couple of days.
This sweet encounter made me want to weep. I cherished the hugs and kisses, the weight of his arm around my shoulders, the feel of the stubble as I kissed his cheek. Thank you, God, for such wonderful times.
On February 15, Ronan, son of Emily Rapp, succumbed to Tay Sachs Disease. He had suffered for most of his four years, and his motherhad chronicled her family's journey in her blog Little Seal. HD will eventually take everything from Lacy, as Tay Sachs robbed Ronan of everything. Everything but love.
I read the scriptures differently now, seeing with new eyes how God's word gives comfort in every stage of life. Love is everything, and the best. Love is what is left in the dark moments we face, and it is the greatest gift we have, even above the gift of life.
My favorite chapter of scripture from my teen years is now my favorite in middle age. I memorized it then, and it comes back to me now to remind me of God's goodness and the power of love.
1 Corinthians 13
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Excellence of Love
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there aretongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.