Love Is Our Greatest Gift
by Jay Fadden
There was a very wealthy woman who lay dying. She was in a huge mansion and surrounded by beautiful and expensive items that her great wealth had allowed her to buy. She was one of the richest people in the world. As she lay in bed, her life coming to an end, she made one last statement before she breathed her last. With a weak and trembling voice, she said, “I would give my fortune for just one more hour.” She then closed her eyes and died.
Her words were, in a sense, inspiring to me. Life is our greatest treasure, our greatest gift. What makes life so special is not a fancy car or a huge house. Life is special because we experience love and hope. Every moment can be different if we allow ourselves to be loved and to love others. I say love ourselves because we can get caught up in being unforgiving towards ourselves. We can be very hard on ourselves and too self-critical. We can overthink a situation instead of looking forward and seeing the joy that lies within our grasp. To love ourselves is to have the ability to know that we are not perfect, we will make mistakes, but we need to forgive ourselves as well.
It is so easy to get caught on a treadmill chasing things, when all we really need is each other. Ultimately, we all just want to be loved and appreciated for the gifts we have. For some, possessions equal importance and respect. A possession, though, is not the answer to something greater lacking in our lives. It is only a band aid whose luster will soon pass and need to be replaced by something else. It is a perpetuating cycle that can never fill a void. A beautiful piece of steel will soon rust and not hold the same value. My point is that possessions can fade and become obsolete, but love is irreplaceable and never loses its shine. A strong and true love can withstand any obstacle. It can grow when times are tough and flourish when everything around you seems to crumble. Love is the answer to the question, “How do I go on?”
When my mother was dying, I looked around a very sparse room, and what I saw was family. I did not see items, I saw that my dad, sisters, aunt, and friends were all around my mom’s bed, in pain and saddened. However, I took great consolation that they were there because they loved her and she loved them. It was a beautiful moment.
Our greatest gift is the ability to love and be loved. To know you are loved is the most calming and gentle reality we have, and it is free of monetary cost. Some may say that love can cause hurt and pain, but I believe that it is not love, but disappointment that causes those emotions—the disappointment of loss, of someone hurting you and of someone doing something that you find wrong and unfair. God loves us unconditionally. We need to love one another with open arms and hearts. Cherish every moment, love each other, and you will have a treasure that is priceless.