What is Real Love, Really?

Valentine’s Day is approaching.

Oh, my God. OMG. Why did I pick such a question for a topic that I can’t possibly answer? How’s that for answering a question with a question? But enough questions, yes?

I was heading out with my wife for a two-hour winter drive to be with my adult children. It was freezing but clear with bright blue skies. We got onto the main highway, and I slowed the car to a crawl. Not because of traffic, but that was a safe speed, and few cars were passing me. The road was very slippery.

After 15 minutes, things were no better. I decided to head for home rather than face such a dangerous drive. We called the kids and let them know our decision. Disappointment all around. I’ll never know if we would have made it safely, but I increased our chances we all would be together for a future visit.

We are headed into low temperatures for a couple of months. Driving is more difficult and can be more treacherous. If we need to go through mountain passes, this is true, even more so.

There will be times when we want to drive to be with loved ones. Often our adult children are driving to us, their older adults or senior parents, to celebrate an occasion.

They check the forecasts, road conditions and ensure the car is safe and ready. In case they get stranded, or lose heat, they pack extra blankets. Phones are fully charged. They call ahead to let us know they are leaving and their expected arrival time.

Hopefully, the snow will let up, and the roads aren’t as ice-covered as reported. But why are they even considering the trip at this time?


What is real love, really?

One aspect of love is caring enough to put others ahead of yourself. The safety of the driver and passengers is paramount. Everybody can deal with disappointment. Grieving is much harder.

That little voice inside their head before starting the trip is telling them that this is not a good idea. “I wish we didn’t have to go.” But nobody wants to disappoint a loved one. The older adults and awaiting seniors are so looking forward to seeing their children, and grandchildren. “I hope they drive safely.”

All it takes is courage and love. As an older adult or senior, you have that life experience of courage and wisdom. Use it. Tell them they should consider not making the drive. Ultimately it will be their decision, but letting them know you love them and that you want to see them safe and sound in the future is the message.

An individual in the group needs to acknowledge the situation, state they are not driving or be strongly encouraged not to make the trip. Skype, Facetime and Zoom, or other ways to almost be together are alternatives, but nothing beats the real thing.

Do you really need to make that trip? Be safe.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment. I read every one.

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Photo: Rémi Jacquaint on Unsplash

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer Blogger – for those with a curious spirit