True Love

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Everyone knows chocolate is a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day, but memories are the sweetest indulgence of all. Savor these recollections of love from Prime readers and friends.

 

Thanks To My Valentine

When battling cancer no one really knows what to expect. The only predictable thing I could count on was my wife being there the whole time.

I wanted to have a very special Valentine’s Day for her. A friend was in a quartet and the group wanted to come over and sing to her. Another friend from KOMU-TV 8 wanted to develop a story for the 6 and 10 o’clock news. No one wanted pay. They simply wanted to contribute to a very special Valentine’s.

It couldn’t have been better. They came to our home, sung several songs, my wife got roses, and my wife and I were interviewed for a Valentine’s story.

I figure this is simply a good start of many future paybacks for all the stress I caused. Cancer isn’t an easy thing to come back from, but my family and friends make the recovery a bit more tolerable. ~ Marin Blevins

 

Love’s Heroes

There are many kinds of love. One of the strongest is the love of a parent for a child. During my 25 years as a teacher of special needs children, I have seen the powerful effect of parents’ love for their children. These parents gave up their careers to care for their children. They fed, diapered and bathed their children long after most parents had stopped. They spent hours at the hospital while their children went through surgery. They spent more hours helping them recuperate at home, and the children, receiving such love, often far exceeded doctor’s expectations.

For their acts of love, these parents are heroes. ~ Mary Sue O’Bannon

 

When A Man Loves A Woman

A couple in their nineties lived in my apartment building in New York City. In the midst of a severe thunderstorm, I came upon the man struggling up the hill toward our building with no umbrella and clutching a paper bag. I put him under my umbrella and walked him home. I asked him why he had braved the storm on such a terrible night. He indicated his package and responded, “She wanted ice cream.” ~ Julia Pimblett

 

A Gift For Granny Pam

At Granny’s House, we so want to create unforgettable moments for the public housing kids who cross our threshold. This past Christmas, we celebrated the holiday with sweet mini cupcakes, chocolate bits wrapped in red and green foil, and, of course, presents for all. Little did I know that I was included in that evening’s “all.” Someone stepped forward with a gift for Granny Pam! I opened it and found a little purple leather journal filled with the kids’ prayers and well-wishes for me.

I long ago reckoned that the fruit of my time at Granny’s House will most likely remain unknown to me until that Final Day. This was one of those times, however, when I realized my meager efforts to shine unblemished, no-strings-attached love on public housing kids who need it had not gone unnoticed. Their little purple book was, for me, a great big bundle of pure love! ~ Pamela Ingram, Granny’s House director

 

Love Works A Miracle

We will be eternally grateful for the outpouring of love given to our little micro preemie grandbaby. He was born weighing one pound, three ounces in May. Devoted nurses and doctors gave of themselves around the clock, providing incredible love and care.

I had never before witnessed firsthand the work of the March of Dimes. Many times, we found a craft, a picture of the baby or a handprint or footprint next to the crib in the neonatal intensive care unit. The March of Dimes placed these to encourage the family.

The outpouring of love and prayers from friends and family around the country touched our hearts.

After three months in the hospital, our little fighter, Deacon, came home to his big sister, parents and grandparents, who could not wait to finally hold him as long as we wanted.

Today, we call Deacon our miracle baby, as we look with love and joy upon him at a whopping 16 pounds. What a treasured blessing he is! ~ Julie Middleton

 

Love’s Unconquerable Spirit

In 2012, a fire destroyed the home of one of Stephens College’s beloved and longstanding employees. He managed to rescue his beloved dog from the fire but lost everything else.

I sent an email to the Stephens community alerting them to our friend’s need, and within 24 hours, employees had donated more than $3,000 in cash, plus a roomful of household items — enough to restore everything he had lost and more.

A few years earlier, I had received a note from a student that read: “Please don’t underestimate the difference you can make here. We are small in number, but we have an enormous, unconquerable spirit.”

I shared those lines with the Stephens community when I emailed a note of thanks.

“Your support and friendship restored his spirit today,” I wrote, “and we are a community unlike any other because you care so much.”

I can’t imagine a more memorable act of love than the immediate and generous response of a community to the needs of one of its own. That’s what love — and an unconquerable spirit — are all about. ~ Dianne Lynch, Stephens College President

 

He Taught Me To Cherish Precious Moments

A few months into our marriage, my husband handed me an unwrapped box and said, “For you.” When I opened it, I saw it was a Precious Moments clown couple riding a unicycle. I tried to sound pleased, but my only thought was: “Well, he has said that everyone needs to collect something, so I suppose I am collecting Precious Moments. And I am not a Precious Moments person.”

The figurines kept coming. After three or four, they were trouble. They needed to be dusted, and I had to find a place to put them.

One day, I lifted the little clown couple and glanced at the bottom. On it was written, “Lord, help us keep this act together.”

“Oh my god,” I thought. “He was sending me a message” — a much-needed message during that first year of marriage. I turned the others over. There was a message on each one, each one bringing a memory.

And on and on they came. Sometimes for a special occasion. Mostly not. But always memorable, always in my heart. ~ Jeanne Dzurick

 

Love Finds A Way

When my father was a new Army recruit in 1942, serving at a base in Tennessee, he received a letter from home telling him my older sister had been born. New recruits were not allowed to venture beyond the next town, so traveling to northern Missouri was out of the question. But Dad decided to take his two-day pass and try to get back to see his new family, essentially going AWOL.

At the train station, he found all of the trains full. As he was leaving, a young lady, already on the train, lowered her window and invited him to climb aboard, through the window, and sit on her suitcase. As the train traveled through the night, the military police came through asking for soldiers’ travel papers. The young lady instructed my father to feign sleep, whereupon she told the MPs that he was her husband and that getting his papers out would unnecessarily wake him. The exhausted MPs let it pass.

He disembarked in St. Louis, still more than 150 miles from home. He thumbed a ride with a middle-aged gentleman who told him he could take him about halfway home. Exhausted, Dad dozed off only to awaken later to find himself in a car going at a high rate of speed, well north of the destination he and his driver had agreed upon. The older man explained that he was determined to get him home to see his new baby, as soon as possible. An hour or so later the car pulled up to a country road. It was a one-mile hike from there.

Dad was able to spend only 12 hours with his new family, after which he returned, in time, to the Army base, thanks to a train ticket paid for by his favorite uncle.

It would be three years before Dad would see my sister and mother again. Had it not been for two perfect strangers’ acts of kindness, and one from an uncle, Dad’s act of love would not have succeeded, and he would’ve gone a whole world war with no memories of the daughter he left behind. ~ John Williams

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