Jesse loved abundantly, creatively and sacrificially. A man with normal human faults and frailties, he gave her his whole heart when he married my mom. There was never any doubt – His love was great. It might have been his greatest testimony on this earth – his unquestionable love for her.
It always impressed me that he did not leave the house without kissing my mom good-bye. They enjoyed time together – family holidays, planting flowers, travels to the beach, meetings with long-time friends. Simple pleasures filled their later days – easy walks to see the ducks at the nearby pond, watching sports on TV, a day at the casino.
He bought her anything he thought might make her happy. He wanted to spoil her and would return and re-buy items until they were just what she wanted. My mom was not always easy to please, but he never stopped trying.
He cooked her favorite foods. New Mexico favorites – enchiladas and green chile stew – were delicious specialties. Jesse kept Mom’s ice cream bowl and coffee cup filled.
As happens, there were impatient, angry words at times, but there was also recognition of the wrong in that and quick apologies and forgiveness.
Jesse not only loved my mom, but he loved her family too. He always made us feel warmly welcomed in his home, greeting us and saying goodbye with a hug. He asked about our children and rejoiced in their accomplishments.
When Jesse was very sick in the hospital, he told a friend he had to get home to take care of my mom. He wanted to care for her until the very end.
God had other plans. He took Jesse before my mom, even though she is the one who has stage-four cancer. My mom ended up caring for him, tenderly cleaning, soothing, accompanying him at his side. It was not the “plan” for him to go first, but it gave my mom a chance to sweetly love him back in his last days. She will miss him very much.
Jesse has set the standard very high. I know I could do a lot more to show love to others every day.
When I am gone, I wonder what people will say about how I loved them…
Do you demonstrate an abundant, creative, sacrificial love to others?