Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf in the Albert Lea Tribune February 10, 2014
“Image what these 98-year-old eyes have seen.”
Those words, spoken in a sermon during a funeral for a friend’s mother, gave me pause to reflect on what this woman had seen during her lifetime. It isn’t often we think of that when someone we love has died. Of course we reminisce about the person’s past, their accomplishments, what they loved, and how they lived, but for some reason when I heard this sentence the thought that came to my mind was love. Pretending to look through her eyes as I looked at family pictures, I saw love.
This is February and the week of Valentine’s Day. You might wonder what a funeral and someone’s death has to do with a day that is filled with hearts, flowers, declarations of love and clever advertising. The day is commercially about all of the glitzy, outer trappings, but what a better day to think about the love that we receive through our lifetime.
What better day to reminisce about those who have shown us love and that we have loved, that are here today and that we have known in the past.
Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, not because I get so many Valentines, but because the day seems to bring out the best in people.
Recently I interviewed someone about the day and they said every day should be Valentine’s Day in the way we show love to people in our lives.
Back to this wonderful 98-year-old woman by the name of Sophia whose funeral I was attending. Looking back through her life I could see that it was her love of God, her love of family and her love of friends, and giving and receiving that love that carried her through her life all those 98 years.
Sophia married young, a man, older than she. Looking at the pictures and talking to her daughters and listening to the stories, you knew that she felt loved. Her life wasn’t always hearts and flowers. She lost two children, her husband, family members and yet her attitude was always encouraging. The love that her husband and those two children gave to her before they died stayed with her even when they were gone.
She helped raise a granddaughter after her daughter died. She had grandchildren. Later when she was no longer able to take care of herself, when she was in her 90s, she entered an assisted-living home. Still her family showed her love and caring by visiting her often and watching out so that she was happy until the final days. They did not forget her. Her sense of humor carried through to the staff and those she met. Pictures told a story of love and you could see the love she showed others even in her later years with sense of humor and the kindness she showed to those who took care of her.
What did those 98-year-old eyes see? They saw many changes in the world. They saw sorrow, heartache and happiness.
Sophia is not unlike many of us today. What do our eyes see each day? At the end of our lives what will our eyes have seen? Will we remember special Valentines Days? Maybe. Will we remember the glitz and the glam and the show? Will we remember what meal we ate when we were wined and dined by our sweetheart? Will we remember disappointment because no one remembered us on Valentine’s Day? Or will we remember the feeling of love throughout moments of our lives?
We get hyped up about this one day, Valentine’s Day, the day we take to show someone how special they are. Some people get romantic and some people get forgotten all together. It is good we do have a day like this to remind us to treat someone we love with a little special care because perhaps some people don’t think about it the rest of the year.
There are people, and I used to be one of those, that are very hurt and sad if this special day passes and they feel alone. If that is the case I want you to think about that statement; imagine what these 98-year-old eyes have seen. What will your eyes have seen over your lifetime? Think about the love that you have shown or been shown by others on a normal day throughout the year. Find the “love moments” in your life and remember them. Think about the love moments, or hours, or days that you have had.
Those 98-year-old eyes saw a lot of sorrow. Our eyes do, too. But in sad times, find the Valentine moments of love that you can cherish and remember your entire life. Love isn’t pinned to a specific day; it is pinned to the shadows of your heart for you to pull out when needed to make those dark days feel better.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu