Acts of Love

These horrendous shootings injure each of us like stabs in our hearts. It is senseless to imagine whether it is a worse experience for someone who has young children or older or none at all. Any needless death hurts each of us who witnesses it, even indirectly, through any form of media. I speak as the mother of a man who was once ten, once a fourth-grader, now a foot taller than me. Of course, then, when he was little, he was unable to give love as intentionally, as he does as an adult, but is there any substitute for the loving hug of a ten-year-old? In this article, I want to describe a few ways that my 55-year-old man-son has shown me love through the years.

Jack at three or four.

When he was to be married the second time, having decided that they would be married privately, no friends or relatives present, I told him that it would mean a lot to me to be there for the ceremony. After they discussed it, they invited my husband (not his dad) and me to witness their simple ceremony, then share a dinner celebration with them. What I loved so much about this is that he heard me and understood that it was important to me, then he discussed it with his future wife, recognizing that it was not his decision alone, then, finally, invited us to share this important event in their lives. To me, it was much more than his love for me, but his loving concern for each of us that moved me and demonstrated his loving kindness, his sweet humanity.

The next time that I was especially struck by his loving kindness was a few years later. Whenever we spoke, although I never mentioned anything, I was waiting to hear that she was pregnant. So one day, when he told me he wanted to talk, I thought, ‘this is it!’ What he wanted to tell me, though, was that he had had a vasectomy. He said that although I never asked, he imagined that I wondered about their plans, so he wanted to tell me. They had discussed it thoroughly and were clear about their intentions. Because the vasectomy would be a simpler procedure for him than the process required for her, he had taken the responsibility for it. I was incredibly moved by his sharing this very personal news with me. Again, his actions were undeniable proof of his loving nature, towards both his wife and me.

Those examples demonstrate one instance of responding to my request and another of anticipating an unspoken one. When he turned fifty, the same year that I turned seventy, I asked for something much more substantial. The year that I had turned fifty and my mother eighty, I took her to Bermuda for a few days, just the two of us. It was a delightful event, joyous for each of us. So, when Jack was to turn fifty and me seventy, I asked if we could go away, just the two of us, for a few days. Knowing that he had little interest in travel, I told him that he could decline, that it would be ok, though I’d be disappointed, I’d get over it. But he said yes! We spent a fabulous week on a Mississippi cruise. What a tremendous gift he gave me with that of time shared.

On the Mississippi River, 2017

Last Mother’s Day, the first year in eighteen that we were both living in the same state, when we met for lunch the week before, he was unaware that this significant holiday was approaching. After he was reminded, he gladly planned for our day together. It was a wonderful day, but what meant the most to me was part of the note that he wrote on the card for me: “I love bragging about you to my friends. You have always been the most amazing mom.” Additionally, he signed it, “Love, Jack.” This was important to me because, starting college, he began to be known as John, his given name. Jack, what I had always called him, was reserved for me alone, a gift.

These four events are tips of the iceberg, the most obvious demonstrations of Jack’s heart to me. I have no idea whether he’s aware of their importance to me, perhaps not, but they fill me and surround me with his love. No, we don’t always agree on everything and he’s not perfect. Inside me, he’s still the ten-year-old bringing me dandelions and expecting a hug. And, I am blessed with witnessing his blossoming into a loving man. What more could any mom expect?

Copyright © 2022

Published by cyrein

Quaker, adventurer, wife, mom, sister, friend, special ed teacher, learner

6 thoughts on “Acts of Love

  1. Love your story. Yes, I have always known that Jack is a very special kind of person. Never one to follow the masses, he has forged his own way, always staying true to himself. His kindness and unconditional love Is a true testament to the amazing job you did raising him.
    We are excited that he lives closer now and we look forward to spending more time with him. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is one of a kind! He’ll always be my little boy. Now, fewer people are around to appreciate him, so I truly appreciate your kind words. 😘


  2. Very touching. I especially appreciate how you are open to and cherish his love the way he presents it and not just expecting a certain series of events, i.e. wedding, children, etc. as experienced by so many.

    Liked by 1 person

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