Posts Tagged ‘unconditional love’


Although he is over 4000 kilometers away, I want to honor the man who has taught me some of the most important things in my life.

As he celebrates, and is celebrated on this 70th birthday, I feel the distance of the miles between us, profoundly.

I come from a birthday, anniversary, holiday, visitor, graduation, etc. celebrating family. Any event that exists, or can be created, is a good excuse to get together for a meal. A seventieth birthday is a huge reason for celebration, for food, for cake, for presents … presence.

Rather than dwell on that which cannot be accomplished, I will share that which has already been accomplished thanks to the man who chose to take me as his own … daughter.

The best gift my dad has given to me starts with his name. When I was two years old. When he was asking my mother to marry him. He had one condition … that he would not just give his name to my mother, but that he would give his name to me. And so, the wedding preparations and the adoption process began. Thank-you for giving me your name.

My dad also gave me the unconditional love of a father. There has never been a day or experience when I have ever felt that I am not fully his daughter. He was naturally able to hug and discipline me … as though it was our shared blood that got under his skin … and into his heart.

He showed me what passion was, and wasn’t. He worked more jobs that paid the bills than fed his soul, but when he was doing something with passion, he did it with every fiber within him. I remember him counting down the years until he could retire, when working at one passionless job, and now he is seventy, and showing no signs of fully giving up the job that he loves.

He was always honest with me … whether I wanted to hear it or not. He told me when our cat died, when our dog needed to be put down, when I was wrong, when I wasn’t doing my best at school, when I didn’t call often enough. He told me when he was angry at my mom, my brothers … me. He told me … with not a word, of how lost he felt when his mom, my grandmother died. He told me he loved me.

My dad is who he is … and if you don’t like him, that is not something he will lose sleep over. He does not exist for the purpose of impressing others or becoming who he is not. He is who he is … like it or lump it!

My dad is a good man, and I have many fond childhood memories centered around him …

clams in the pasta meal
dancing with me before heading out to a dance with my mom
buying blue satin shorts for me because I said that everyone would have them walking where you grew up while you told childhood stories
warm from the oven biscuits
keeping score for your minor softball teams
Christmas shopping for mom
allowing me to help install a Gyproc ceiling for my bedroom
teaching me how to make snow angels
Chinese buffets

and so many more lasting memories!

Dad, I wish you a happy birthday. I wish you a day of feeling loved, appreciated, cared for and of thanksgiving.

There is not much more I can say, that goes beyond the words of Moses :

“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

Other than, I love you.

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“One day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying, “as you wish” what he meant was, “I love you.”

“… and even more amazing was the day she realized, she truly loved him back.”

I love The Princess Bride movie. I have never read the book, but I have viewed the movie record times. It is a story that truly has something for everyone … adventure, drama, violence, comedy and romance … all wrapped up at a SciFi format. I love every element of it! The actors who play each part have become those characters, and the lines get repeated in conversations, and even in wedding ceremonies (such as the “mawwiage” scene).

But it is the line, “as you wish” that holds my attention most, especially today, as hubby and I celebrate our twenty-forth wedding anniversary today.

Marriage, really, is so much like the struggles faced by Wesley and Buttercup.

Sometimes there are sword fights, but the swords are our tongues and the hits are with words … the scars are far slower to heal than any physical blow.

Sometimes there are poisons in our drinks in the forms of what we drink that the world keeps offering, such as dissatisfaction, selfishness, arrogance, and pride.

Sometimes there are giants in our way and they might be in the forms of illness, difficulties with conceiving, job problems, financial problems, and more.

Sometimes we push each other down a steep embankment, or would like to, when it seems that we no longer know that man or woman who we married.

Sometimes we are surrounded by the enemy, and it seems that our enemy is our spouse.

Sometimes we have been tortured by regrets … maybe even the regret of having said, ‘I do’ in the first place. But regrets can come in any form that leads our hearts to dissatisfaction.

Sometimes we are temporarily paralyzed … with fear.

Sometimes there really are ROUS (rodents of unusual size) that attack your loved one, but they might be found in the form of nasty neighbors, beastly bosses, sarcastic soccer moms, malicious church members or repulsive Canadian Revenue workers (or so I’ve heard).

Always, there is an evil king, who is out to destroy you and your love, in the form of Satan who is out to “steal and kill and destroy …” (John 10:10a)

But, like Wesley and Buttercup, we have the foundation of “as you wish” as the pervading theme of our marital lives.

Whenever Buttercup ordered her farm-boy, Wesley to do a task for her, his only response was “as you wish.” He did not whine and complain, he did not state his rights, he did not compare her to other girls … he simply fulfilled her request … selflessly. Eventually the meaning of “as you wish” (I love you) was understood in the heart of Buttercup, and her requests were no longer orders, by favors accompanied by ‘please’ (perhaps her own version of “as you wish”). In time, Wesley’s choice to love Buttercup unconditionally, and selflessly created an intense response of the same from she to him.

In twenty-four years of marriage, I have blown it over and over, and hubby and I have experienced many struggles … some brought on by the enemy, but many brought on by our inability to … serve each other, with an “as you wish” attitude.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to serve without expectation of reciprocation.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to never give up when it gets difficult.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to always think the best of the intentions of our spouse.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to say I love you in every little thing we do for the other.

After all:

“This is true love … you think this happens everyday?”

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Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, in London, England.

There will be the lighting of the flame, the entrance of the athletes into the stadium, the speeches, the music, the spectacle that is the opening event.

Of course the Olympic Games are about the games themselves, about the competition among athletes and countries, about about winning medals, but, what are the values of the Olympic Games?

According to the International Olympic Committee, it takes more than being an exceptional sportsman or woman to become part of the Olympics or Paralympics. “This is why both games come with a set of core values which encompass what these competitions are all about proving that sport even at this level, is not just about your ability.”

The seven official values, which aim to embody the spirit of the events are :

There is a story that is behind the picture to the right. It is a story of a father son relationship that exemplifies all of the values of the Olympics. Beyond that, their relationship is one of love … unconditional, sacrificial love.

To me, they, father and son, epitomize the Olympic spirit, not just in regard to athletics, but also in regards to life … lived full and complete, not because of their circumstances, but in spite of them.

“You can!”

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