I believe in love. I didn’t have a choice: I never knew life without love. It was a gift given me as I was welcomed into the world by a giving and loving Southern
Before starting to school I went to Sunbeams at our small town Baptist church where Mrs. Higgins taught us that God is love. I knew that it had to be true because my momma, my daddy, and my aunt had told me so, too. My clannish family taught me much more about love by giving it to me unconditionally and then showing me by the way they lived how to share love for God, family, and neighbors.
It wasn’t all about saying how much we loved, although there was an abundance of that. It was about showing love in all you do and how you go about doing it. In the small ways that add up to a lifetime of loving. In the easy times and in the hard times. Every single day.
Through their love my family’s gifts spilled out in a thousand directions that made me who I am. Having a peaceful home, always a haven. Knowing I was wanted and that in that place I was special. Feeling safe. Knowing what it meant to selflessly share that love with others.
The teacher, the grocer, the postmaster, the pastor, and the 4-H leader in our small town knew about sharing love, too, and did so in abundance. Having the care, the support, the discipline, the kinship, and the stability that came from love in my coming of age years made me who I am.
A gift is a present freely given. My maker, my family, and my hometown gave me the gift of love. They taught my heart how to give and receive the lasting love of kinfolks, valued friends, one remarkably loving man, and our even more remarkable and loving son.
I believe in love. I believe all good things come from love. I believe all bad things are survived through love. When all else passes away, it is all we have. I have not received a greater gift than this legacy of love.
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