After spending an amazing weekend in Crystal Beach, Florida with my family and thinking about all of the conversations that took place, my heart is almost bursting because of so much love. I’ve encountered this amazing feeling so many times throughout my life but ever since my ALS diagnosis this feeling has intensified in a way I can’t describe, but I’ll try.
I feel this kind of love when my niece Monica and my future nephew Ian plan a great getaway in a beautiful place for our whole family.
I feel it when I’m looking across the room and making eye contact with Bryan as he mouths “I love you.” and blows me a kiss.
I feel it while lying in bed with Corey while he holds my hand and we each share our hopes and dreams for the future just before he leaves to go back to San Francisco.
I feel it when I hear my four-year-old niece Skylar say she wants to give Aunt Rosemary a kiss and “a gentle hug.”
And when my nephew Billy and his wife Anouk ask Mark and I advice about how we raised our children.
I feel it when my six-year-old nephew Landon looks directly at me with his big brown eyes and listens attentively as I try to talk to him with my not-so-clear voice.
And when I see my nephew Christopher singing and dancing happily as he helps to clear dirty dishes from our morning breakfast.
I feel it when our friends Nick and Jessica Gereaux and William Hennessey visit and fit right in with our family the minute they walk in the door.
I feel it when Ashley and Monica entertain us with their beautiful singing voices and when our friends Ron and Kathy accept our crazy family as part of their own and when cousin Buddy tells me goodbye with tears in his eyes and says he loves me and when a house full of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews and cousins cook every meal together and clean up afterward without a fight.
I feel this kind of love when my high school friend, Marla Morrison Radigan, stops by for Wine Time with her husband Charlie, their daughter Alana and her friend Brook after we hadn’t seen one another in 25 years.
I feel it when my sister-in-law Vicki and her husband Bruce give up their bedroom for a week to make things more comfortable for Mark and I and when my sister-in-law Patti and her husband Luz wait patiently to give me a hug and a kiss as I cry uncontrollably during one of my sad moments.
I feel it when a family with so many different personalities gets along for five days in the same house.
And I feel it when my tired husband helps me to the couch in the middle of the night so I can write a blog post.
Someone wrote this comment on my blog recently and I think it fits my feelings on this kind of love perfectly.
“When going through trying times, people don’t love you more, you just realize how much they always did.”
I love this kind of love.