“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
After all of these years I can still remember the first time I placed my newborn baby son into my Grandmother’s arms. Nana by that time was 77 years old and needed a walker to get around her tiny home. Yet, the second I came in the door she stretched her arms out to me for a hug and kissed me. When she had settled into her favorite chair I placed my son into her arms and watched her rock him gently while her eyes sparkled with joy and her face filled with smiles.
By that time Nana had already been through so much in her life. As a little girl she had survived a German U-boat attack on the transport ship taking her to America from Italy during World War I. She’d learned English as a second language and worked hard even as a child to help her poor family survive in their new home. She’d married and raised 4 sons, growing 4 huge vegetable gardens to help feed them. Then she’d helped to raise me and my two brothers when my Dad and Mom moved back into her home after Grandpa died. When I was 11 years old she’d watched in tears as a fire destroyed that home in the middle of the night. She’d also survived brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her head.
As I watched her hold my baby son in her arms I wondered how much longer she would be with us and hoped it would be for a long time. Thankfully, Nana lived to be 92. I guess God knew she still had more babies to hold, more kisses and hugs to give, and more love to share.
Now my newborn baby is 28 years old and I have gray hair and wrinkles. Still, I don’t feel old. Like Nana I know that I have more kisses, hugs, and love inside of me to share. Life may have pain, struggles, and sorrows, but God loves us and helps us through them all. Life here may be brief, but there is always time for love. There is always time for learning. There is always time for joy. And there is always time for hugs.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella