“No one gets out alive, every day is do or die
The one thing you leave behind
Is how did you love, how did you love?”
Lyrics from one of many great songs from Shinedown’s album Threat to Survival. Such a great thought. Certainly a fantastic motto to live by. Although sometimes hard to do.
How Not To Love
Apologize for the heavier subject matter again. Honestly, I am a very happy guy but I was determined to write something while sitting on the beach at a cottage, Shinedown was playing, and this is what came. I mentioned in my first post that my marriage did not make it. A large part of it is definitely due to my lacking on the subject at hand, although I don’t blame myself completely for it ending. However, I do know that I cannot change others, so when it did end, I looked to myself to see what I wanted to make better. There is nothing great about an ending relationship, but I am a firm believer that the bad is easier to deal with if you can take something away. The conclusion I came to is that my contentment led to complacency ultimately becoming a major factor in the relationship disintegrating. This was not just evident in my marriage, but the rest of my life as well. Complacency is certainly not a shining example of how to love. I had work to do.
The Shining Example
I recently experienced the loss of someone I cared for very much. She was such an amazing aunt to my children and sister-in-law to me. Within a half hour of knowing that her sister and I were splitting up, she sent a heartfelt email telling me how much she still loved me and that this did not mean the end of our friendship. I would love to say “she was the type of person that…”, but the truth is there is no type that could ever do justice. Every person whose path she crossed, she left a stamp of sunshine on their heart. There was just complete sincerity in her love and compassion for everyone. When she would come to visit the kids, I would be just as excited as they were because I knew as soon as she got there, there would be smiles on everyone’s faces. While there is never anything good that comes with death, we seem to want to rationalize it with a statement of “at least…”. Sometimes there is no at least. I struggled just to comprehend what the hell happened. It didn’t make sense. The thing is, it never will make sense. I will eventually have to come to terms with that. I feel like she is exactly what Shinedown was talking about when they wrote the lyric. How did you love? She just did.
While she has left this world, the stamp she left on my heart is still shining bright. I will do everything I can to take the lessons that she taught me about love and compassion and I will shine brighter. That is how I will love.