Our feature highlighting Michael Redhead Champagne’s gratitude for the volunteers in his Canadian community generated many comments from readers about love and how they show it. Here are a handful of their responses.
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Victoria McNally: Food is Love
I was shown love from my mother, father, and grandparents through food. My father especially would make me dinner every night and he would always remind me “food is love.” As an Italian woman, when I love someone I have a strong urge to cook for them. Food is not just about taste; it is the careful preparation and delicacy that is put into the dish that shows love. It is the warm feeling after your appetite is sated.
Sparky Jen: Love is a Helping Hand
My beloved Mother always told me that “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” I like to express how I feel by giving back. If a family member or friend needs a helping hand, I have two. I also do a lot of volunteer work, whether it be inspirational speaking or reminiscing several times a month with people who have dementia. I love being of help, even if it is giving to someone I don’t know. We are all connected, and lending a helping hand is a lifeline we all need at some point or the other. Be it far from me to cut my cord!
Earlene Gleisner: Love is Small Offerings
I read an article about a study which investigated the ways people feel that they are loved. The study was able to define five ways in which we feel loved. They are 1) getting compliments 2) have someone to offer their services to us 3) receiving gifts 4) having someone hang out with us and 5) having someone touch us.
I know with my late husband, he was rarely able to say “I love you.” Neither were my parents. A wise grandma told me to look at the actions of love and I would have no need for someone to tell me the three little words. I watched and saw how he brought in wild black raspberries or wild strawberries for my breakfast most every morning, or how he listened when I wanted a few steps built in a hill so I could get to our storage unit there. His offerings were that he was showing his love by being of service. I began listening and providing service to him and it changed our marriage.
As he was dying, he was finally able to say the I love you words because he could no longer do for me the way he had.
I think when we live in relationships, the importance of taking time to notice how we subtly communicate with each other can add many dimensions to the experience. I have done this exercise with all my significant family members. I have also determined for myself that I just like to be able to hang out with them. They haven’t caught on yet, but I’m hoping. I guess I could tell them. That would help.
Madison Kindell: Love is Being Present
I show my love by listening with the intent to really understand what they’re saying not necessarily to respond. I care about the people in my life and when I’m with them I’m present. Not on my phone or in front of a TV. I think genuine conversation and really hearing them is the most important way to tell somebody that you care about them and what they have to say.
Also another way is genuine praise. I have this one friend that always makes me feel so good. Every time she introduces me to somebody they already have heard all about me and are so pleased to meet me. She tells everybody what an inspiration I was to her. She has had such a big impact on MY LIFE and her words make me feel so special that I have literally striven to be like her in this way just because I know how happy it makes me.
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