‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
My son and I have deep conversations before bedtime; it’s made me realize how introspective my little 8yr old is. This week, he asked a question that left me at a loss for words. He said, “Daddy, is it true that if you love someone more than anything in the world, they’ll only be in your life for a short time? And, if you’re miserable with someone, they’ll be in your life forever?”
Did he just ask if it was worth falling in love?
I’ve been struggling with this question for a few months now. Love is powerful; it can lift you up one moment, strike you down the next. It’s those latter moments that make you question whether it’s worth it. Love doesn’t let you down easy either; it knocks your feet out from underneath you leaving you crying out “Why?”
If my son had asked me this question a few weeks ago, I’m not sure what my answer would have been. However, I stumbled upon a reminder of how great love can truly be.
Three weeks before Laura passed, I lost my wedding ring. I was devastated. I tore the house apart looking for it. I eventually succumbed to the fact that I needed to buy a replacement and I did. The replacement ring never felt right, but it was still a symbol of our love, and I continued to wear it months after she passed. It wasn’t until our weekend in Nashville that I stopped wearing it. The night of the wedding, my left hand started throbbing, my first reaction was that I was having a heart attack until I realized it was just swollen fingers. I took the replacement ring off and hadn’t put it on since.
Earlier this week, I was digging through a drawer looking for a cord, and I found my original wedding ring. I’m not sure how it got there and as I’ve stated quite often, some things are better left unexplained. Looking at the ring again reminded me of 16 amazing years we had together. A wave of relief overcame me as I stared at it and for once everything felt balanced. It also reminded me of the importance of love – to receive it and to give it. We have the innate need to love and to be loved. There’s no other experience like it, and I know someday I will love again.
As I laid there with my son contemplating his question, I remembered the ring and all of the years of love it contained. And I replied, “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t be afraid of falling in love; it doesn’t matter how long it lasts because true love lasts forever.”