Love – A Note from TinaJanuary 19, 2017
As we move into and through 2017, Joy’s House is focusing on LOVE.
And really, could there be a more complex emotion to take on? Love is deep, people. Really deep. There is romantic love and agape love. There is self-love and goodwill, momentary love and friendship, playful love and love of things or foods or thoughts and places. We will never be able to tackle it all and we certainly won’t be able to answer all of the questions that burn in our hearts about love, but there are some things that we know well. So to kick off our year, please allow me to share a few with you…
We feel love in our hearts – When my son was little, around three years old, I asked him how he knew that I loved him. He told me that he knew because he felt it here and he reached up to put his hands over his heart. At that moment, I knew he would be okay no matter where life takes him because he knows what it feels like to be loved. Sometimes we get confused and we try to feel love in our heads, but at the end of it all, we feel love in our hearts. Our Guests reinforce this every day and we can tell by the smiles on their faces when they enter Joy’s House or by the way that they quickly become family when they are with us. They feel our love in their hearts and in return, we feel theirs.
We can love people even when we don’t like them – Years ago, I got a card for my husband that said something like, “I like you more today than I did yesterday.” When you open it, the inside read, “Which is good because I didn’t like you much yesterday.” I thought it was hysterical. He didn’t laugh as much as I did. (Oops!) But my note to him said, “Even on the days that I don’t like you much, I still love you a lot.” Really…isn’t that the truth? We don’t always like the people that we love. It’s impossible to like everyone at every moment. I don’t even like myself all of the time, but love seems to be a bit more grounded, thank goodness. For us at Joy’s House, it’s so very true. Our Guests are great, but they can be difficult and that’s okay – they get a pass. They are with us on a regular basis because something has changed in their lives, something drastic. They have had a life-changing diagnosis and they never thought they would be spending their days dependent on anyone else, much less us. So it’s okay if they don’t like us at every moment or vice versa because the love is there and it is constant and that’s all we really need.
We love them for who they are now – At a Guest’s funeral, the minister was sharing stories of her life when he stopped and said, “Thank God, Marie is now free. She is free of Alzheimer’s disease, which took her from us so many years ago. After all, the person that Marie has been for the last seven years is not the person that we have all known and loved.” I almost stood up and shouted, “That Marie…the one with Alzheimer’s, is the only Marie that I ever knew and I LOVED her.” I have no doubt that who she was before I met her was insanely wonderful because who I knew her to be with this nasty, robbing disease was still incredible. And I loved her with it.
We want you to love our Guests – They are beautiful and talented. They are smart and charismatic. They are shy and outgoing and come from a multitude of backgrounds. (We may even have a rock star in our presence.) One thing that they all have in common is LOVE…they want to be loved and they give love away freely. There is always more love to give away, and the beautiful thing about it is that it never runs out. It’s like magic. As soon as we give it away, our supply replenishes and we have more to share.
So in honor of our Guests, I challenge you to give away all of the love that you can to everyone you meet.
President and CEO