A Daughter’s Story
I recently attended a man’s retirement party. One of his daughters was the first to speak. She approached the microphone and said it was hard for her to speak about someone she loved so much. She went on to say that her dad loved her with such an intense and unconditional love all her life that she grew up believing she could face any challenge and be successful. Upon graduating from college, she enlisted in the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of captain. She was sent to Iraq while the Iraq War was raging. She was responsible for the lives of hundreds of fellow marines while there and served her country with distinction. Just as the flowers in the forest need seeds to grow, she needed what we all need to grow, love.
How about the timing for this discussion about love? Have you ever seen families and communities in such discord?
We definitely have a world of haves and have nots when it comes to love. Some are born into loving situations and complete the remainder of their lives safely within the cocoon of love. Others have never been loved and really don’t know what love looks or feels like.
I think you would agree that there is too little love in the world. Hatred, anger, and self-centeredness seem to contribute to the crumbling of human relationships on every level. Yet, each of us has an enormous capacity to love. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Can’t each of us be a better person than the person we each are today?
Those words really resonate with my way of looking at myself. We should never be completely satisfied with who and what we are. There is so much potential in all of us to do so many good things. The greatest among these things is to lift up someone who is hurting.
Just so you know where I’m coming from, I have been loved every day of my life. Yes, I am one of those few people who has always known I was loved. I am the oldest of five boys and a girl born to our parents, who remained married for sixty-two years, until our father’s death at age eighty-nine in 2002. I married the love of my life. Yet I am keenly aware of those who prod through their daily journeys either still searching for love or having abandoned the search entirely.
Under various circumstances, as mentioned previously, nine non-biological children came and went from our house over the years in addition to our own kids. At one time, we had eight teenagers living under our roof. It’s amazing that the roof didn’t blow off the house with all of that excitement.
Nancy and I have spent many years working with various families and individuals living in Detroit’s inner city. We have seen children abandoned, families on the brink, hunger, despair, and widespread hopelessness. It is my intent in this book to use other people’s true stories as well as my own experiences and observations after seventy-six years of life. My objective is to recommend ways to help make your time on earth one of always growing in love and joy.