Sunday, July 5 2020 - 10:04 AM
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Expressions of Love

How many times have I signed a letter or an email or a birthday card that way? I wouldn’t even attempt to count. Even though it was a practice I learned at my mother’s knee, it took me a while to realize what I was saying when I wrote that. Love.

Love is perhaps one of the most overused words ever, but there’s a reason for that. It’s a word, a concept and a practice that we would die without. Mother love is perhaps the first type we experience. Being a mother of three and a grandmother to six, it occurs to me that without that initial outpouring from my own mother, I would not be so good at it. It’s a love that comes through her eyes, her lullabies, and her hands gently caressing my cheeks as I fell to sleep. This love I mimicked, and felt, with my own boys.

I think of all the celebrations that center around love. There would be no happy brides and grooms were it not for love. In America we celebrate love of country on one grand day in July with fireworks, music and all the pomp and ceremony our communities can muster. We love Christmas for the birth of a Savior. We love the cross where the agony of love was exemplified by that savior’s perfect sacrifice for the salvation of the beloved.

There seems to be no end to our love of food. Our fully stocked supermarkets, prevalent specialty shops, chain restaurants and television programs throw food at us from every direction. Chefs are super stars and compete with each other to prove who can dish up the best eats. We love to watch them battle. Chocolate is the most loved flavor in the world. Each one of us has at least one food that we are consumed by love for.

The power of music to soothe, enliven, and bless provokes a response in us that can only be described as love. Amazing Grace, The Star Spangled Banner, Celebration and The Hallelujah Chorus will each, in their turn, drive us to our knees or have us dancing on our feet. There are thousands of musical creations like these to enrich our lives.

We harbor a deep reservoir of love for our friends. To go through life with one or two very close friends is a blessing beyond measure. Our most intimate thoughts and feelings can be expressed to a treasured friend. By its very nature such a friendship will not exploit or denigrate our trust. In the best times and the worst times a friend stands beside us with joy and laughter or sympathetic tears and a broad shoulder.

God is love. How could we exist if it were not so? The very creation attests to it. We are exposed to the greatness and grandeur of that love daily. I’ll never forget the first time our grandson, then about three, ran towards me from across the room, flung his arms around my neck and chirped, “I love you, Grandma.” I don’t know what prompted him to do so, except to say, I loved him first. I showed it in all the ways shown to me by my mother. It’s how I love Him who first loved me.

So, when I sign, “Love, Susan,” more goes into it than what my reader may think. I really don’t suppose it’s practiced and used nearly enough.

Susan Sundwall writes from New York.

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About Susan Sundwall

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Susan Sundwall

writes from New York.

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