wings and things

What’s more important – to love, or to be loved?

on November 13, 2013


Yesterday, after doing hours of paperwork and three related appointments, I finally got to Anthony’s lodge at 5pm and something in his face lit up. “My beautiful girl!” he said (now that I am 54, being called a girl always works a charm on me). We gave each other the usual hugs and kisses and then I sat down to tell him the latest about my nieces and nephews, my Centrelink adventure and other things, and poured him a small whisky. I knew I couldn’t stay long as I had to get groceries before the shops shut, so he got a bit upset when I had to go. I managed to jolly him out of that somehow and left reluctantly.

At the doorway to his room, I paused, as always, and said to him, “I love you so much, Ants” and he said, “When you go I won’t have anyone to love.” So then of course I ran back to him for one more hug and he was okay, knowing he would see me tomorrow (which is now today).

After getting groceries, I headed for home with his words resonating and I realized, for the millionth time, what an amazing person he is to want to give love more than to receive love.

Ming, at 19, doesn’t really understand why I go into the nursing lodge, take Ants out for cake and coffee, and/or on my errands, or home on weekends.

Me: Because he is my husband!
Ming: But how can you stand it, with Dad like he is? It’s no fun for you and the psychologist said you’re supposed to be having a bit of fun in your life.
Me: Because I love him and I can make it fun now I’ve stopped succumbing to the sadness so much. Anyway, I like going to cafes and so does Ants.
Ming (bewildered): Okay, whatever.

One day, when Ming is married to someone (who I hope will be amazing!) he will understand something about love that I didn’t really ‘get’ until now: that the gift of love is found inside every moment that you give it and not in how much you receive it. I certainly didn’t see it this way when I was his age so why should he?

So to both my beautiful boys: I love you.

34 responses to “What’s more important – to love, or to be loved?

  1. Ms. Boice says:

    Ahh, Julie. I loved this post. I never learned about love until I got married (which was kind of late–in my 40s). I used to think it was all about feeling twitter pated. Not really. I love that you have patience with Ming’s understanding of it all. I love that you are having fun. I love this post.

  2. Terry says:

    I loved this. It is the secret to a true relationship of any kind. Hugs my friend

  3. That was such a beautiful love letter to love. I hope that Ming is lucky enough in life to meet someone to love and to love him the way you and Anthony were lucky enough to have found each other and given each other the pricelss gift of love. 🙂

  4. ytaba36 says:

    OK, we need a “Love” button as well as a “like” one. Lovely, lovely post. Baci!

  5. Yes it is something Ming will not truly understand till he finds that special someone, I think it is slightly more important to be loved then to love but only just slightly

  6. niasunset says:

    I loved so much this post, you are so beautiful dear Julie, Thank you, love and hugs, nia

  7. janeslog says:

    Love is something which keep[s people together and makes them do super-human things when required. There’s also different kinds of love such as love for family, partner and friends.

    However, there is nothing worse than someone who loves themselves.

  8. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Such a touching and beautiful post.

    I think both are important. Some people never learn how to accept Love, let alone give it.

  9. cobbies69 says:

    To love will be rewarded by being loved. 😉

  10. A beautiful post, Julie, and the love you feel shines in your face….

  11. Gorgeous words. And I don’t think I could live without either. And I love this picture.

  12. Beautifully said. They do say youth is wasted on the young. He’ll understand in time.

  13. Colline says:

    As I read this I can see how much you love Antony – it is a love that has grown over the years and is strong enough to withstand his illness. I think it is a beautiful thing.
    I really like the family photo of you all. Such a happy moment.

  14. FlaHam says:

    Julie, We have known of each other for well over a year now, we have shared stories, and had a cry to two together. But everytime you post a love letter to Ants it fills my heart and soul with wonderment. To love so completely, so without shame, and with so much tenderness and warmth. Is truly amazing, but then to have it returned so completely so totally is something the rest of us desire and want and would cherish. Thank you for continuing to share your love letters and stories. Please take care, Bill

  15. What a great photo. I love this your love story.

  16. Rhonda says:

    This is one to keep Jules. It’s beautiful and so very true…nothing makes one feel better than loving and giving that love to others….just like how good it makes me feel to tell you I love you…and am so thankful we’ve connected.

  17. elizabeth says:

    Beautiful post Julie. And gorgeous picture of you three. 🙂

  18. Ming’s reaction is not just that of someone his age.. I think it’s a very common on… at least it was so when my mother was in a nursing home for 7 years. She had a brain aneurysm and brain surgery..Her personality changed and each year her mind and body deteriorated more. Her physical limitations changed shortly after entering the home as she tried to help someone else who was falling and instead ended up on the floor with the person on top of her and she had broken her hip. They operated of course but she could never ‘learn’ how to walk again because of her mental ability. TMI

    Anyway of the children remaining of the 10 she had … only 3 of us went regularly (every week) to see her. The rest couldn’t ‘accept’ her as she was … not able to communicate or of course walk… But they couldn’t stand to see her ‘vulnerable, old, and not able to carry on a conversation. They ‘preferred to remember her as she had been’ … and didn’t think she knew who they were etc etc anyway….

    Instead of remembering ‘who she was and had been’ and just ‘being’ there they chose to remain away. It really broke my heart because who knew what she knew… just because she couldn’t tell anyone… They ‘loved’ her and had been good to her previously … I just couldn’t understand..but then they couldn’t understand why I went..

    Sorry for the long comment… but it kinda hit home. I hope at some point in Ming’s growth as an adult he can see who his father is…. and use that as a compass for understanding that behind the illness he is still the man who ‘was’….. Diane

  19. youth cannot imagine the kind of love that grows so strong and deep over the years. i am still in awe of how much i love chris. at different times over the years i think i could never love anyone more and then i realize i do love him more. while being loved is quite nice it cannot compare to that feeling of loving with you whole heart and as a bonus being loved by theirs. you two are an inspiration.

  20. Love is an action, not a feeling.
    You describe the essence of that in your post and your whole blog is you doing the actions of love.

    Love this Julie. 🙂

  21. adinparadise says:

    This is such a precious story, Julie, and yes, one day, Ming will totally understand. *hugs*

  22. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Julie, this is beautiful. You are such a thinking person, and I love that in you.

    Love. Love is beauty. What a feeling, hey, to receive love… a beautiful feeling 🙂

  23. A beautiful post. I struggle with the concept of love, and never feeling loved enough. I have also started to give my love and found I am feeling much better about life. I guess that’s one of the good things about getting older…we get wiser. Me, though, I wish I knew these things 30 years ago.

  24. tootlepedal says:

    You hit the nail on the head with this post.

  25. I loved that post – someday Ming will get it too.

  26. I wish the wisdom I have now could have been planted in the younger me; and I guess it was through my family life and parents’ wonderful example. But it does take a lifetime to grow.

  27. Judith says:

    Our Nate has his first girlfriend. He’s a senior in high school and 17, but he’s definitely happy giving love. He’s young and it’s all new to him, but he loves having someone to buy flowers for and take out to eat. I didn’t picture him as the romantic he is. It’s been a joy watching him.

  28. what a wonderful realization!

  29. dcwisdom says:

    There are two things I enjoy about not being a kid – I am wiser and more patient. And that’s only two things. 🙂 Finding love in daily moments is awesome.

  30. You and Anthony are an inspiration — you are living true love’s reality, not just believing in an ideal and saying the words.

    I wrote a little poem about my version of “True Love” a few years ago.

  31. bluebee says:

    In an enduring marriage, love evolves into different forms – hopefully, Ming will have the opportunity to experience this phenomenon with someone special.

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