“Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 VOICE
Our minds quite naturally turn to the subject of love on Valentine’s Day, which focuses on the romantic kind, but love comes in all shapes and sizes. As this story unfolds, you will understand why I say that love can even come from a humiliating event. All memories are precious, especially those of the loved ones we were forced to say goodbye to way too soon. But the children who remain give us many sweet memories to mix in with the ones that aren’t so sweet. I have such a memory. It involves my youngest son.
I needed to run some errands. Before I left home, I filled a sandwich bag with orange wedges to take along in case I got hungry while out and about. As I turned the car toward home, I reached into the bag and ate a wedge. It tasted good. Its tart sweetness quenched my thirst, so I ate another, then another.
I was about halfway home when suddenly it seemed that my stomach was having second thoughts about accepting what I had just eaten. It rumbled a little. Then the dreaded nausea sensation quickly followed. Oh dear. Could I keep my mouth clamped shut and stave off what normally follows? Nope. My stomach had the upper hand, and this orange was coming back up. I was driving, remember? I had no place to pull over, so what was I going to do? This was not going to be pretty. I was about to discover that the vomiting would be swift and violent.
I don’t remember exactly what happened. When the heaves started, I probably could have set a record for velocity. When I “came to” I found my foot on the brake pedal (thankfully not the gas pedal), and I had stopped right in the middle of a lane. There were cars backed up behind me, but “none were” honking their displeasure. [none were – correct? ask M]
Shakily I accelerated, my hands trying to grip the slimy steering wheel. Slowly, I picked up speed and a few minutes later I pulled into my driveway. What a relief to be home safe! What a mess! I was still too sick to deal with the upchuck, which had been hurled all over the steering wheel, windows, seat, floor, and my lap. But if it was allowed to dry it would be even worse to clean up.
I entered the house. My youngest was home. This was not the usual “take out the trash” request. This was ugly, slimy, nasty. Would he do it? I told him I was sick and asked if he would please clean up the car? Without a word, he disappeared outside. I peeled off my soaked clothing, tossed them into the tub to deal with later, and climbed into bed.
Hours later and feeling somewhat better, I stepped into the kitchen. My son looked up and asked, “Mom, any chance you were eating oranges when you got sick?” I had to smile. The bits of fiber stuck to everything was a dead giveaway. (In fact, I was finding “leftover” bits stuck here and there for days afterwards.)
In spite of the nasty request, my son willingly cleaned up the mess. It wasn’t even his, but he did an act of kindness without complaint. It is a treasured memory that proves once again that love rules, even in the worst situations. My child has grown up to be a wonderful, selfless man. He lives the gifts God has given him by helping others in the community, which in turn, gives me more memories to cherish.
Dear Reader, if a sweet love story of your own pops into your mind, I invite you to share it!
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” Ephesians 5:2 NLT
Scripture taken from the VOICE and the New Living Translation