Weekly Letter (Jan 17 ’17)

Dear Parents,

Last month Sandra and I went to Casa Grande, Arizona to visit Mike, Allie and our grandson Emmett (21 months old). It’s hard for me to explain the joys of being a grandparent. I think you have to live this experience to understand it. Which brings me to a topic I’ve contemplated often over the years. Love is a lot like ice cream; there are many varieties.

The first love we usually experience is from our Mom and Dad and quite honestly those are two distinct types of love. Often Dad is the one who throws you up in the air and catches you and Mom is the one who cuddles you when Dad accidentally drops you. When we reciprocate that love, it is because we need those two parents and it may take years for that love to truly become a two-way street. The love we have for our friends as we grow up is another distinctly different type of love as is romantic love when we reach that stage. Mature, committed love is again uniquely different from other types of love. Loving our children is also different from any other experience we have ever had. We may love them equally, but we must show them love in a way unique to each of them. I sometimes wonder if God created each type of love specifically or if it was inevitable that the many flavors of love would simply flow just from God being God.

I joke that Emmett knows Mama, Dada, Abuela, and “Abuela’s traveling companion.” But I honestly feel that he has a clue that I am somebody special in his life. After all we share DNA, we look alike, I love the same people he does, and his parents trust me to take care of him.

Something I remember learning in high school is that no matter what we share we have less of, except love. As we share love, we grow in our capacity to love more and better. Be at peace this winter and let God’s love (in all of its forms) bring you the joy and faith to share love better.


Terrence Hanley


Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.