Take the time to think about the one person you love the most in the entire world. What is their name? What do they look like, sound like, smell like? What are they wearing, and how are they acting? Absorb the entirety of this person, and imagine they are with you right at this moment. Now I want you to think about why you love them so much. Why is this person important to you, and do they know how much they mean to you? If the answer is no, then what are you waiting for? If the answer is yes, then what can you do to remind them of it? Now that you have reflected a bit on one of your deepest loves in life, it is time you put your thoughts into action. Sadly, those we love so dearly often do not know how much they actually effect our lives, and they may never know if we do not frequently display our feelings towards them. You never know how long you will have with particular individuals on this earth, so it is important that you appreciate every second spent with them and show them your gratitude through words and actions.
This past August, I received devastating news about someone I love unconditionally; my Grandmother, “Grammy”, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. The news hit me and the rest of my family like a block of concrete. Grammy is the rock of our family, always watching over and taking care of everyone. She holds all the holiday dinners at her lovely old tutor house and refuses to be anything but selfless. Grammy is my best friend and a great role model. We share many similar opinions, values, and beliefs. Shopping together was always my favorite pastime because Grammy has the best taste in clothes and is very fashionable. When I found out the news about her illness, I was in disbelief. At first, I was in utter hostility with the world and refused to do anything but mope. It was emotionally taxing for me to even talk to Grammy, and this is what pained me the most. The idea of losing someone I have so much love for drove me mad, yet I knew I could not just hide from the world. Since the shortness of life became evidently clear to me through this distressing news, I became aware of how unprompted life can be. It became a duty of mine to let Grammy know how much I love her and to do the same for everyone else I love because I may not always have the opportunity to.
That is the fact of life; it is full of opportunities, if you use them wisely. Tell that person you pictured a few minutes ago how much you love them. It can be simply ineffective to just say, “hey, I love you”, so tell them why you love them. Give them full details with examples and enthusiasm. Give them a hug, write them a letter, or simply just be there for them. These affectionate actions make relationships and people stronger. Your love can be spread to everyone you encounter, and all it takes are small words and actions to illuminate your heart.
I challenge you to daily express your love towards someone you care about, whether that is complimenting them, thanking them for making you smile, or praising their talents. Once you can do that, I challenge you to show some love to people less close to you. Give a stranger a high-five, hold a conversation with someone who looks lonely, or tell someone with rockin’ hair that they have rockin’ hair! Deeds like these can transform somebody’s day and possibly their life. You never know how much someone may need a little more love in their life, and you never know how much longer their life will be. Love until the end of time because you never know if it will be the only thing you can depend on. “Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” – Pedro Arrupe, S.J.