Found this buried on another page from back in June of 2011. Re-read it, still loved it, and wanted to share it again...
I was struck with the thought of describing true love to my children. When, and if they ask, I want to be able to respond with clarity. I don't want to walk away hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand wondering "why did I say that stupid thing", or "why didn't I say this too?". I don't want to mess this moment up, so I need to be prepared. I want them to find the same love in their lives that I have, and since I last checked... there is no manual for this kind of thing.
Then I realized there are no words I can say. Sure we try. We say it's unconditional, enduring, and bigger than life. But there are so many kinds of love. Love for your family, love for your best friend, love for yourself, and on and on. They all meet the same definition. I want to tell them how to recognize the love they will need to have in order to enjoy life's journey, not describe something that translates equally to our family pets!
It occurs to me that words alone will not be enough to teach them. So I recalled a list of a few real life examples that I thought would help. They are moments in my life where a light bulb went off over my head and I said, "AHA! That's what love is". But I fear these were my moments alone, and won't be as meaningful to a young person who has not yet experienced a life of lasting consequences or future altering successes.
So I turn to God as I usually do when I find myself to be inadequate. He, in my opinion, is the only expert I know in every matter relating to the heart, and my kids! It also leads me to think of Carly, who I know is with Him. I think of how her short 8 months of flesh and blood has brought more love to my life than 29+ years of light bulb moments. How is that? Is it because it's the only positive direction my grief has to go, or is it part of a message that I have not yet received fully? Since her death, I feel more love inside me. I know... go figure! Until now, I thought that it was the love I had been saving up for her that had nowhere to go when she left. But it's more than that, and continues to grow every day. It IS her. It is her love for me too. She is at the center of my heart orchestrating a beautiful symphony. I feel the melody flowing like fluid through me. It is a love that cannot be contained and does not discriminate the way I have. It is present in the pathways of love I already nurture, it seeks to re-open the pathways that were closed and forgotten about, and it opens my eyes to the pathways I never saw before. It is tempered with understanding to keep it from being misused. It is my gift from God and she is the sweetest package. I can almost hear her saying, "I love you mommy, see?".
Now, how do I explain this to my children? This is true love. True love is a connection that has no beginning or end, and speaks to you without words. It's effects are far-reaching and without limit. It's presence is unpredictable, undeniable and unstoppable. It will not ebb and flow as friendships do; it will be constant. But I hate to tell them, it's never an easy find. True love is the gift God gives you when you have been hurt more than you can handle.You may receive this before or after, but you will have it when you need it the most. I have had true love revealed to me twice in my life. Once with my husband, Scott, and again with my forever baby Carly. Their love for me, is what fills me up so that I can love others. God, please let our children find their true love(s) a little easier!