"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is Love."
It's on days like today that I find myself waxing a bit more on the relationships in my life; because on days like today, my commute to work becomes more focused and my surroundings more visible. See today, the Dallas Metroplex is blanketed in heavy fog; yet on a day like today, I become much more aware of the visual reminders of love that I travel by each day on my way to and from work.
Each weekday my commute takes me by the DFW Airport and the UTSW Medical Center (which also, for you trivia lovers out there, happens to house the hospital in which President John F. Kennedy died almost 46 years ago). "Hey, that's a bit of a sad point considering your headline today", I can hear you saying. True, but it goes along with my thoughts today....stay with me here.
You see, the hospital and airport, for me, are two of the most magical places within a city. For, in those walls there is the truest gamete of emotions on a constant basis. Turn one way and you'll see families embracing loved ones as they get off the plane or a new father starring down in awe at the new child the nurse has laid in his arms. Turn another direction and you might see a mother, sitting vigil over the bed of her dying child or a young couple saying a tearful good-bye as one of them is boarding a plane and heading off for military deployment.
I find it magical to watch these natural emotions pour out of people. I say natural because no one has to teach an infant sorrow, love or happiness; they are innate emotions that belong to all humans. Sure, a crying baby might not fully understand why she is crying, but thanks to the connection made possible by unconditional love, a mother knows why and will always do her best to stop the crying and make everything better.
These relationships aren't just between family members or lovers, but also between friends. Close friends will travel an emotional highway together throughout their lifetimes, and true friends will never question or judge the honesty of those emotions, they will simply embrace them.
It is on these foggy, hard to see days that I think about these places and the most natural moments of life they house. As I drive past the airport I find myself thinking, "Did I hug my children before I dropped them off" or "have I called my sister lately to tell her how much she means to me?" On these days, the lack of action and follow-through from my heart to my daily life comes into full focus and leaves me to questions, "have I done enough?"
What if something was to happen to me on my drive in today; would the ones I love know how much they mean to me? What if suddenly I was in that hospital...have I provided my family with enough memories and love and carry them through a lifetime?
It's days like today that remind me that even the painful moments in life provide us with great joy later. When someone passes on or a relationship ends and that person is no longer physically part of your life, their memories remain. The moments you spent together had aspects of happiness, sadness, struggle and teaching. For in those moments you learned, not only to love and deal with the occasional challenges that life brings, but you learned about yourself. "There is no remedy for love but to love more." --Henry David Thoreau
So when you wake-up and the morning news warns of hazardous driving conditions on your way into work, don't grumble about how now you'll be late or complain about what an inconvenience the weather has provided you; instead, let it serve as a reminder to you that you are loved and you have people you love in your life. Let days like this remind you to always tell people how you feel about them and to never miss a moment to play with your kids, have lunch with a girlfriend or to enjoy the every day moments that life has to offer. Let days like today remind you of all the opportunities you have in life to live and love.
If you feel alone or without the energy for the day, go hug your child or call a friend for lunch and refill your soul, for as Elizabeth Browning said, "Love doesn't make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile."