February 14 2015.
3 years exactly.
Calgary airport. February 14, 2012.
I said goodbye to my mom for the very last time. I hugged her through her tears and told her how much I loved her. I told her how much I believed in her. And then I let go and boarded that plane.
And I’ve been boarding planes ever since hoping that one day when I touch down she will be standing there, where I left her, armed with a hug and an “I love you.” But on days like today, I’m reminded that the truth is her love has never left me. No matter how many countries I’ve gone to, how many planes I’ve boarded, how many places I have planted my feet, she’s always there.
She’s always been there.
When I was in grade 9 and I moved away for the very first time, in our tearful goodbye, she whispered, “You can’t lose me. Wherever you go. No matter how far. My love is where you are.”* Love is crazy like that. It isn’t something that fades when a person physically leaves our presence; it is the kind of thing that lives inside of us.
Love is alive.
There are going to be people in our lives that we’ve loved and lost but that love we shared with them continues inside of us. Just because the people we love are gone, does not mean their love is gone.
Love is eternal.
Love is what moves us into the deepest places of our lives. It is what forces us to open up those most vulnerable places. It is what makes us feel most alive.
Love changes us.
Even though I will never get to say “I love you” one more time to my mama, I get to whisper it everyday in the way I choose to live my life. I can live my life being afraid of days like these, because I guarantee there will be days throughout my life when I say “I love you” for the very last time, or I can live my life seeking opportunities to pour out love into this world, despite days like these. I’d rather be brave in love, than guarded in fear.
Love is a decision.
I’ve seen the heartache in this world first hand. I have experienced it first hand. I have wanted to surrender to it. I have wanted to give into it. But in every situation I have faced, the one thing that has always conquered the darkness, is love. Because love wins.
Love always, always wins.
So don’t be afraid of the last time your get to say “I love you.” Be brave and say it today, tomorrow, and for as long as you get. Let love change you. Let it work into the most fearful parts of you. Let it radiate light into your darkness. Let it give you light for other people’s darkness. Let love live in you.
And don’t forget to say “I love you” to the most important person of all….yourself. You are worth so so much love. Until you love yourself, you will never be able to fully accept love from another; nor will any love you find in another fill the spaces deep in yourself earmarked for the love that comes from within.
Love is work but its rewards are endless
So Go love. Go say it for the first time. Go say it again. Go say it by showing up. Go fight for it. Go.
*It was our song: Faith Hill, You Can’t Lose Me