The exercising women had just finished a 60-minute “strong bones, strong muscles” work-out. As a Valentine’s Day salute, they brunched together and toasted love with sparkling apple juice. While munching on deviled eggs and coffee cake, each woman shared a personal anecdote about the power of love. Here are their contributions with names changed.
Power of Love in Sickness
Sadly, one of the instructors was missing from the brunch, because she needed to be with her husband in hospice care. His long struggle with Alzheimer’s would end later that morning. Our hearts were with Ann and Bob. Instructor Georgia said Ann’s loving example was the love story she wanted to contribute to our brunch conversation.
Georgia recalled, that when Bob started wandering away from his exercise class, Ann brought him to our class. She kept him active, taking Bob on vacations; they even skied together with Ann’s leadership. As Bob became more and more dependent, Ann didn’t complain.
Last fall, Bob could not attend his daughter Kara’s out-of-state wedding. A few weeks prior to the celebration Kara put on her wedding dress, and Ann and Bob (then in a wheelchair) dressed up for photos. We agreed that Ann’s love set the high bar for vow-keeping “in sickness and in health.”
Tragedy to Transformation
Two of the exercisers, Sarah and Louise, shared how they were advocates for sexually abused victims during lengthy court proceedings. Both women said the circumstances were heartbreaking, but the good news was their loving assistance resulted in the groundwork for healing. Friendships developed. Decades later, both families are thriving.
Love in Surprising Actions
Smaller examples of love’s power were also shared around the table. Jenna told of her husband making a surprise dinner for their first-year anniversary: steak , potatoes, and salad. Debbie remembered her Mom, who disliked cats, allowing her to keep the kitten a boyfriend gave her.
Becca marveled at her grandmother’s intuitive love. When Becca was confirmed at age 12, Grandma wrote a poem for her entitled “Springtime in Colorado.” At the time, Becca had never been to Colorado, but in her twenties she took a vacation to a Rocky Mountains dude ranch, fell in love, and made the Centennial State home.
Child Love Power
Children sometimes give the best heart-felt gifts, said Hannah. She shared how daughter Lizzie, age nine, called her into the bathroom.
“Take a seat Mom,” Lizzie said, pointing to the closed toilet lid, with a footstool placed in front of it. Lizzie proceeded to give Hannah a homemade pedicure with a bucket of water, bath towel, fingernail file, and polish.
Love is not Arrogant or Rude
Remembering cordial courtesies of love was Denise’s contribution. She was thinking about a retired apartment president. She recalled: After each meeting, he always thanked the officers by name for their hard work. No one does that anymore. We all just get up and leave. I miss him.
“Lose, Lose” Story
The funniest story came from Jessie, who declared, “This is a lose, lose.”
She continued: In high school I knew a boy named Freddie, who liked me. I was interested in Freddie, until I heard Johnny also liked me. He was a nicer fellow.
Freddie found out about Johnny’s interest in me and wanted to beat him up.
The basketball coach found out about the fight and had Freddie and Johnny put on boxing gloves in the gym to settle the matter.
Horrified and worried, I watched from the gym door as Johnny gave Freddie a bloody nose.
After that, Freddie was mad at me. And Johnny wouldn’t have anything to do with me because his brother advised, “Stay away from her. She’s trouble!”
Put Love to Work
We each have our Valentine stories, don’t we? They are fun to remember and share during this holiday of the heart. For Valentine’s Day, may win-win love wrap around you and may you, too, spread that power of love.