How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
One, you’re like a dream come true
Two, just wanna be with you
Three, girl, It’s plain to see
That you’re the only one for me, and
Four, repeat steps one through three
Five, make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I’ll start back at one – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee and Brian McKnight, Back at One
I don’t know how I feel about Back at One.
Like every time it comes on, don’t get me wrong, I’ll sing along to it.
But… it’s a pretty stupid song, no?
And— no, love — true love; unconditional love — is not quantifiable. Otherwise it wouldn’t be love.
As some well known guy from a long time ago once wrote/said — Love is patient; love is kind yada yada yada. (Just kidding Paul… and God… about the yada yada yada thing. Honestly, it’s because that’s the part of the verse that I can repeat with sheer and utter confidence correctly.. which isn’t even a complete sentence… go Joe+… )
I asked the silly question that serves as the title of this post because today, I had physical (and mounting) proof of how much I am (and my family are) loved.
BY THE WAY. If you’re reading this and you happen to follow me on other social media platforms (shameless plug in 3… 2… 1 ), let it be known that I do not have permission to use my wife’s name, image, or any of my wife’s likeness in any shape, way, or form without the explicit permission of said wife. Which is why I don’t mention her in my blogs nor post pictures of her on the interwebs. All this to say, people, she really does exist. It’s not like the ”I do have a girlfriend, she just goes to a different high school in a different city” type of situation.
Where was I… oh. Being loved.
The skyline of tupperware:
There is a person who we refer to lovingly as Nana.
We met Nana and her sister, who we affectionally call Baba, at the last Methodist Church we served.
I don’t know what we did to deserve their love — but we receive it we did and do.
Nana always fed us.
Dropping off some food here and there.
We’ve had Thanksgiving with them — probably every Thanksgiving since moving to Texas.
Nana has invited us to a few Christmas dinners; Mother’s Day brunches; Easter Brunches; Just Because Gatherings…
Ever since my wife starting working the nightshift, she’s been regularly dropping off dinners so that we have… dinner.
Coming from a culture where we greet one another with “have you eaten?” this simply is the greatest way to be told that we are loved.
But it’s not just physically Nana has nurtured us.
She has given us once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
How many kids at the age 11 can say that they’ve visited a private island and caught barracudas (and ate said barracudas) on more than one occasion?
Honestly, sometimes Nana does more than our own blood family.
(Family, if you’re reading this, step up your game. 🤣😅)
And it’s not just Nana.
It’s her entire family that make us feel like we’re one of them.
Nana has been one of my greatest inspirations since moving to Texas.
She continues to be a model of generosity and a love that is very patient and kind (and all the other attributes Paul mentions).
I don’t know how she does it.
I don’t know where she finds the energy to do the things that she does. I often get tired listening to what she does in a day.
I don’t know where she finds the room in her heart to be so generous.
I don’t know how she faces situations with such compassion, grace, and kindness.
All I know for certain is that we are tremendously blessed to have her and her family in our lives.
And that she continues to remind us that we are loved.
Nana, I’m sorry that we’ve accidentally started a collection of your tupperware.
I think we have enough of your tupperware to qualify as a set from Costco.
That’s not including the tupperware of food we have in the fridge and the ones you dropped off today.
We will return them ASAP.
But in the meantime, whenever I look at the corner where the Tupperware Skyline exists (or what’s affectionally known as Nana’s Corner in my head), I am reminded of just how fortunate, blessed, and loved we are by you.
Even if we had all the words and all the time to say all those words — it still could not express the deep gratitude I have for you and for your family.
Thank you for being so generous and unconditional with your love for us.
I know I can speak on behalf of my wife on this one: we are forever grateful for all that you’ve done and all that you do — not just for us — but for everyone around you.
You’ve often embodied the physical presence and comfort of God for us — especially for me.
I know that haven’t said this enough nor can say this enough but: Thank you.
And in the words of the modern (yet late) poet and philosopher, Tina Turner:
You’re simply the best.