Buckethead here – JPo’s loving husband and occasional guest blogger. JPo has been extremely busy lately – job, life, and our TiVO is filling up with shows that have to be watched before they get deleted – PRIORITIES PEOPLE! But she misses each and every one of you and wishes she could spend more time with you here in bloggerville.
Today, I’m going to channel my inner Barry Manilow and talk about L-O-V-E. No John Wayne Marlboro Man stuff here – ooeey gooey, Lucy & Ricky, Mickey & Minnie kind of love. Get your Ben & Jerry’s, put on your PJ’s, jump up in the bed, light a candle, and read on!
Do you understand love? In my life, I have known 5 types of love (wait, all you perverts --- don’t jump ahead!!). They are:
(1.) The love of family,
(2.) “puppy love”,
(3.) brotherly love,
(4.) the love of JPo (my wife), and
(5.) the love of God.
They are different, and yet they are the same.
My best friend in the world is G-man. We’ve been best buds since 6th grade. Together, G-man and I have climbed mountains all over the world including Kilimanjaro in Africa. We’ve got each other’s back. I would take a bullet for G-man, and he for me. We share tents together. We pull each other’s finger. We do life together. I love G-man.
My wife is JPo. She excites me like no other person on the face of this earth. You should live in my shoes for a day. Catch her smiling -- it’s intoxicating. Watch her doing a little happy dance at the thought of a fun evening. See her sing in front of the mirror as she get’s ready. Notice her tender heart for others, animals, me – all of life. Listen to her tell a funny story. Let her compliment you. Check out her quirks and funny personality traits. See her in her night gown…okay, that one is only for me! I trust her heart. I crave her. I want to be around her more than anyone. I want to be a great man for her. I want to pursue her. I love JPo.
I don’t think I can interexchange the G-man and JPo descriptions above, although you should see G-man in a night gown! Different.
I choose both of them. I choose them. I choose to love them. Not just because of who they are (which alone would be worthy), not just because they love me (which is the greatest compliment and puts wind in my sails) – but because, I see them both as a gift. A gift from God.
Sorry, but I’ve got to put this in guy terms. I love cars. If I could, I’d own 100 or more. Fast ones, classic ones, off-road ones, luxury ones. I’ve owned some amazing cars: Convertible Porsches, BMW’s, Range Rover, Harley Davidson motorcycle – but my all-time favorite was a candy-apple red 1967 Mustang that I drove in high school. I owned a silver 1967 Mustang GT convertible as an adult, but the candy-apple red one was my favorite.
“Why?” you ask. “Because is was your first?” No – because it was a gift. My first car was purchased, lovingly restored, and given to me by my grandfather, Pop-Pat. Pop-Pat is huge in my life. I miss him daily. He was larger than life in my eyes – capable of doing anything. He was, perhaps, the coolest man I have ever known. And this man, my grand-dad, made me a car. ME! I loved it.
I loved the smell of the car. I loved the sound. I loved the freedom it gave me. It didn’t go fast at first, until I found out my loving grandfather put a governor on the carburetor to limit the speed. Then, upon removal, it went REALLY fast! I made lots of memories in that car – like the time I revved the engine up to peel out in front of my friends – only to blow gasoline all over the engine and catch the car on fire. Don’t worry, after running around and screaming like a 10-year old girl, I put the fire out.
But mostly, I loved the fact I could see the “hands” of my grandfather all over the car. He crafted part of the heater with a Folger’s coffee can. My interior could reach a balmy 206 degrees Fahrenheit in 21 minutes! I loved the car because it was a loving gift from a loving man. I was, in summary, grateful. It was a gift I couldn’t fathom – and the hours spent pain-stakingly crafted – every little detail in love and care for a grandson. I miss my Pop-Pat so much just typing these words.
And this brings me back to love – whether from JPo or G-man: what a gift. And the giver? None other than the Creator of the Universe. To think that God loves me so much to bless me with G-man, or JPo, or others in life – ME! I can’t fathom it – I can only be grateful and return that love, and cherish the gift. Like the Mustang, I see the “hands” of God all over the loved ones in my life. And to think God loves me this much – ME!
These people aren’t perfect – they blow gasoline all over things and catch on fire on occasion – but to me, considering the gift – I love them, and I wouldn’t want anyone else.
Choose to love people – see your loved ones as a gift. You have been blessed with real love – not fake, fading, emotional, fickle worldly love (aka “as seen on TV”), but REAL love. REAL love isn’t perfect, but something wonderful. REAL love can hurt, but it’s oh so worth it. Put yourself out there – love, and be grateful for the “gift” of others in your life. Be thankful you are so loved by the Father.
I close with an excerpt from a great children’s book my Mom read me, and I in turn have read to my kids. The story illustrates that love isn’t a feeling, an emotion, or fading. It’s a process, a choice and a gift.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.