I often joke that I didn’t have tear ducts until I became a mother. Prior to Little C’s birth nearly 8 months ago, I wasn’t one to readily express emotion–at least through tears anyway. After giving birth, however, and experiencing such a degree of overwhelming love for this new baby, my baby, I haven’t been the same. I’m a new person. More compassionate, more sympathetic. Even against my will, I love more easily. It’s more effortless–not always, but often.
Early this morning an extended family member passed away. I didn’t know him personally, but I wept. I wept not only because I’ve always sensed that he had a kind and gentle heart, but because I knew that he was loved. Loved dearly by his family–by parents just as I love so dearly my own sweet daughter.
And this is why somehow my heart has been been awakened to love so deeply–because I’m a parent. My soul now stirs at the loss of another human life, whether it’s a family member, friend, or someone I read about or see on the news. Because I know that somewhere out there a mother and father is mourning the death of their beloved child.
It’s a bittersweet sensation, this newfound love for others. It breaks my heart, yet opens it to see others as I’m sure God does. He is unconditional. He is nonjudgmental. His love is perfect, and mine is not. But I’ll tell you one thing–becoming a mother has broadened my understanding of what love can do. It sounds like something in a movie script or a song lyric, but the power of love conquers all. It heals. It softens. If love of others was above love of self, we would see peace throughout the world. Wars would cease, families would bind, friendships would flourish. The vices of hate, distrust, hypocrisy, violence, abuse, selfishness, etc. would all just go away. Because of love. Wouldn’t that be nice?
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to watch my little one grow and cherish the still moments when my heart is heaving with indescribable love for her. My gratitude for these experiences is inexpressible and I hope I can share this same love and let it permeate into the lives of others, including those I don’t even know. Because even if I don’t know them, someone else does. And they are loved.