Friday, May 18, 2012

Patchwork of Love

Today, when driving in to work, I heard a phrase on the radio that I completely fell in love with. Two women were talking about their parents and how the relationship between their parents had shaped their lives. One of the women described seeing her mother and father exchange loving, tender glances. She stated that such moments helped build and shape a patchwork of love that would endure into her adult life.

Patchwork of love. Such a beautiful thought. When I heard the words, I immediately imagined a huge, intricate quilt with vivid and unique patches, woven together with a myriad of different threads. I imagined that my own quilt could stretch far across the sky, wrapping the Earth itself in a warm, comforting embrace.
There would be patches of the strangers who darted in and out of my life and yet left an indelible mark of kindness.
Patches of animals and pets, their fuzzy souls making everything more fulfilled and complete, their friendship filling a gaping hole of loneliness through so many heartbreaks.
Patches of friends, those I can touch and those I can only speak to through words on a screen, but all of those who reached out and whom I reached out to for a lasting connection of laughs and tears, shared happiness and fears.
Patches of memories. Of Pawpaw. Of vacations to Florida. Of Easter egg hunts and Christmas mornings. 
Patches of the family I so adore, the blessing of a lifetime, the genesis of my own patchwork of love, the memories shared, the bond of blood, the certainty that if I ever need them they’re always just right there.
Patches of the man I love, the partner and friend. Patches of his hugs and kisses and the comfort of his smell and the sweetness of his heart. Patches woven together across great distances with a strong thread that cannot be broken or cut or torn apart.
I am blessed with patches of many shapes, sizes, and colors, but as beautiful as my own quilt is, I find myself even more marveled and mesmerized by the patchwork of love of others, by the differences I see in each. Because truly, the most incredible thing about a patchwork of love is that not everyone's will be built the same or look the same. 
Some will be sewn together later in life, past the dark days of an undeserved childhood, past the void left empty by those who should love you the most. Some love has to be built from the ground up with a family that may not be from blood but is instead from the heart. The threads of this patchwork are like steel.
Some, the lucky ones, are born with a patchwork already started for them. From the moment they are conceived, so is the soft quilt that will envelope them through childhood and on.
Some will endure rips, tears, burns. Some may even begin to unravel at certain times, but they will be sewn back together. They will from this darkness be stronger than ever.
Some patchworks...most I would say...will revolve around family. Families of all shapes and sizes and colors. Families brought together by the only thing that really matters: Love. These are the patchworks that will be so alike and so different. These are the patchworks that we all must embrace because of that common thread, that universal thread that bonds us all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. 
Patchwork of love. Such a beautiful thought, and the even more beautiful thought is that each person carries with them a patchwork of love and that each one is stunningly unique and yet always tying us together with that common thread of love. 

What does your patchwork of love look like? 
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