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Here Is The Love

John

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. This was not the end he wanted.

Nevertheless it’s happening, proceeding like your worst nightmare on speed. But let me tell you about the love. There is so much of it in the air it is almost visible; I can smell it, taste it, and most of all, feel it.

I look at my brother, shrunken and weak far, far too soon, and know that he has experienced more love in his life than is humanly possible. Take the love I feel for him, which borders on worship, multiply it by a million, and you’re getting close.

He lived a love story.

In a gaggle of children, he was the middle child, and my mother has always freely admitted he was the apple of her eye. To this day she has a soft spot for middle children, although when you’re the fifth of nine it’s hard to imagine the phenomenon is the same. Regardless, he was the favored one, ironically named after my father. And because he was deserving of his plum spot we all forgave him for it and bowed down to our rightful (lower) place.

He married the woman of his dreams, someone who was engaging and beautiful to begin with, who then fell into the folds of our family as though she’d been part of the fabric her whole life. And then something happened that doesn’t always happen: their love grew.

A workaholic (she) and the life of the party (he) meshed and morphed and taught each other things. She learned how to relax, he learned how to work hard to achieve his dreams. A perfect mix.

Love grew and it prospered. They had two children who have grown into remarkable young adults, and so the love, again, multiplied.

Of course there has been ups and downs, stresses, harder times as well as many wonderful ones. But underneath it all, love was growing like the weeds in their perfectly manicured garden. Everytime I showed up at their house for dinner they were working on their garden. The workaholic would be weeding or planting, the life of the party mowing the lawn or cutting back bushes. They were always working on that damn garden.

An overused metaphor? Maybe, but it is perfectly true so I’ll take it at the risk of being predictable. Their love for each other and their children grew like a garden that could sustain an army. If it were to produce, say, carrots, it would be the sweetest carrot you ever did taste, packed with fortifying vitamins.

Now, you can imagine the life of the party attracts friends like bees attract honey. Everyone wants to be around the life of the party, party or no party. But not all lives of the party retain their closest friends throughout their entire lives. This one is still best friends with his buddies from the neighborhood, and his brothers he grew up amongst, although he’s picked up hundreds more along the way. They probably didn’t talk much about the love they felt for each other amongst their escapades, hockey and golf, but it’s apparent now and they’re not shying away from it.

Too many friends to count, too much love to measure.

Writing about love is overdone. It can be cheesy and trite. It can be thrown around too casually, or riddled with drama. But I look around at this unquestionable nightmare and the air is heavy with love. It is hanging around like a fifth wheel. I can smell it and taste it and it lingers on collars. It’s in his hair – not a grey hair to be found, by the way – and underneath his fingernails. It’s hovering around him like a forcefield. An aura of love.

He’s been worshiped, revered, idolized, respected, looked up to his entire life by literally everyone who knew him, but chiefly and most importantly his wife and his children. His greatness was obvious and apparent, bordering on flamboyant. But the love in the air still takes my breath away. It’s followed him everywhere the world over like an unrelenting shadow. It’s a wonder he didn’t trip on it.

He says he feels so much love. He is thankful for so much love. His cup, you could say, runneth over.

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  1. Laurie
    June 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    May you all be sustained by love in these days…..

  2. Nancy
    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Our prayers, love and lightness to you and your family xoxo

  3. Christine Fletcher
    June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I see the sparkle of your eyes in his eyes too.

  4. June 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Big love from us to you and your family.

  5. Ellie Sadinsky
    June 6, 2011 at 2:42 am

    oh Dee-i hope somehow all that wonderful love does provide a forcefield for you all

  6. June 6, 2011 at 2:57 am

    What a brother! What an amazing brother!

  7. June 6, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Hugs to you and your family, Deanna, and much love!
    Kathy

  8. Terri
    June 6, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Sending you lots of love and hugs, Deanna!

  9. Joanne Lawlor
    June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful love story….you couldn’t have said it better Deanna…we love John so much!

  10. Sue Howard
    June 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I’m so sad for you and your family but what a man you describe! Beautifully written about a wonderful person.

  11. Beverley Slaunwhite
    June 7, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Blessed to count myself one of the hundreds of friends along the way. My greeting to John was always the same…Ohh John, there you are my guardian angel!! First time meeting him I(the princess) was complaining to a group of friends about a lousy splinter in my finger. Next, a kind, sincere angel appeared with a needle and my silly complaint was taken care of. I always felt the love and kindness in the presence of John and Debbie and take comfort in knowing that “Love is in the air”! Life will forever be changed for all and I will miss my Guardian Angel….

    Thank you for sharing your feelings of your wonderful brother. My you all find comfort and peace. God be with you.

  12. marybeth curry
    June 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Deanna reading this just makes me smile so very much.Yes I feel so much love around-it just oozes from him.We are so lucky to have him touch our lives.Everyone says at times ‘Life is short,make the most of it”.And John sure has had a very full life doing much more than most would do in 70 or 80 years with no regrets.Often it seems our brightest lights dim prematurely….I LOVE YOU JOHN…Thanks so much Dee…our amazing talented sister xxoo

  13. June 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Deanna, I don’t know your brother, but I know you and if he was anything like you, he sure was a terrific guy. Thanks for sharing, I felt like I had met him after your wonderful words xo

  14. June 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I’m sure the love of his friends and family has been instrumental in helping John deal with his illness…

    Sending you all hugs from New Brunswick…

    Wendy

  15. Lisa Peck
    June 8, 2011 at 12:55 am

    What wonderful words you have written about your brother. I too am one of those hundreds of people that is blessed to know John. What always sticks in my mind is his smiling face and his kindness at every party or social event that I have ever gone to since I have known him and I could always count on getting that hug . John, you are such a wonderful person and I think of you all the time. I am so sad to see everything you are going through. All my love and prayers to you and all your family xoxo

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