Back when I was too young to truly appreciate either the lyrics or the music, Lennon and McCartney said it all: “All you need is love.” Back then, this was just a catchy tune playing on pop radio, the big kids singing in the back of the bus.
Now that I am older–much older– though, I am constantly reminded that what really matters is love: the people you love who love you back. I know for sure now that the Beatles had it right.
Life isn’t about what you can own: cars and houses and clothes. It isn’t even about the achievements we can boast about. What good is a Ferrari if you don’t have someone special riding shotgun? If you have no one cheering for you when you bring home the Pulitzer, it’s just a piece of paper.
No. Life is all about people, all about love. It’s what we work for, what gets us out of bed in the morning.
And this is coming from a decidedly “non-mushy” perspective. I am a realist, practical to a fault. OK, so I did cry at Free Willy and over a few of those overly sentimental Kodak TV spots.
None the less, hearing our adult kids and their spouses really laughing together, watching my husband make pizza with our granddaughter, seeing our grandson smile, that’s the real thing, the stuff that both makes me stop and keeps me going.
In those moments I feel like the Grinch; my heart grows three sizes and I am moved to tears. Every single time.
Love can take you to the moon and back. It’s laughing so hard at nothing that you can’t breathe. It’s folding laundry and doing the dishes. It’s planting marigold seeds and assembling a crib. It’s just going to work every day. It’s listening and talking and listening some more.
It might be true, as the old saying goes, that love doesn’t pay the rent, but without love, you have a house, not a home.
It is love that sustains you when you are up nights with sick kids. Love feeds your soul when you are grieving. Love gives you strength you didn’t know was possible. Love makes you believe in yourself and see the good in the world around you.
This is for the people I love who love me back, for all the stuff–big and small– we do for each other just because we love one another. Thanks. I love you all.