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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I am a true lover of cliches and overused phrases, so it’s not surprising that I often find myself saying “wow, it really is a small world after all.” In fact, just last night my cousin and I were exchanging messages on Facebook about an unexpected mutual friend, and I relayed that very phrase in our discussion. I must say, though, that it’s slightly hard for me to think of that phrase without thinking of the “It’s a Small World” boat ride at Walt Disney World. It’s the “ride” where a bunch of little plastic dolls from all over the world bob their heads and sing the song in a few different languages as you float by. It’s a great ride for the faint-of-heart (or extreme doll enthusiast) to take because it’s nice and relaxing and involves no treacherous flips or turns. I promise, my small talk about plastic dolls and outdated Disney rides is actually going somewhere…

Every couple always remembers the “first time we met” (unless that first time involved one too many “adult” beverages and the night’s events have to get pieced together after a few Advil and a next-day snooze). Nonetheless, the details are often regaled to friends and family at parties, wedding receptions, anniversary parties, etc. I think it’s always so refreshing to hear of the unlikely way a couple met or how the universe somehow pulled them together and they couldn’t help but fall in love. Everyone has his or her own interpretation of stolen first glances, shy and awkward hellos, and meet-cutes. Well, for one Boyton Beach, FL couple, their “first time we saw each other” story was a lot more interesting than they initially thought…

Just days before their wedding was to take place, Donna, the blushing bride-to-be, was showing her fiance, Alex, a few family photos from her childhood. They flipped nonchalantly from picture to picture until Alex became fixated on a specific picture of Donna and her family at Disney World. He couldn’t help but notice a familiar figure in the background of the picture – his own father pushing a stroller. As he soon realized, that stroller was occupied by none other than Alex himself. Donna’s family lived in Florida at the time and had gone to Disney World for the day, and Alex’s family was visiting from Montreal; and somehow in all the hustle-and-bustle, the two young toddles crossed paths. Little did they know that their first photo together was taken decades prior to their (now second) meeting at work where they fell in love. Let’s all let out a collective “awww” and smile as we think, wow, it’s a small world after all… 🙂

What a great story to tell the grandchildren!

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Check out these adorable (and lesson-inducing) videos of two creatures who are supposed to despise each other – cats and dogs – not only getting along, but loving each other. If cats and dogs can get past their differences and co-exist in love, can’t democrats and republicans, Palestine and Israel, oil and water, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner…and you and your enemy?

When you’re feeling mad and frustrated with someone who has wronged you, be the bigger and better person and relinquish your hatred as hard as it may be to do. The act of forgiveness takes courage and only those persons truly at peace with themselves will take the risk and shake hands with their enemies. As Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Think about it – what has hatred done for you lately? Personally, hatred has done a lot for me over the years including tearing my soul to shreds, inducing tears, and closing off my heart to others. Like we should with all enemies, I am going to chose to shake hands with my hatred (an enemy of us all!), tell him I forgive him for occupying my mind for so long, and in as kind a voice as possible – tell him to “take a hike!”

So here and now, I declare that I fully forgive those persons who have wronged me in the past, and I hope that those I have wronged will forgive me as well. I also forgive myself for holding on to hatred for so long – for I’m ready to set it free and start anew! It’s time for us to all come to terms with our mistakes and the mistakes of others and to refurbish ourselves as whole entities full of grace, acceptance, and love. Open your heart to yourself first, then open it to all those around you – remember, if dogs and cats can learn to love each other, anyone can! 🙂

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Most workday mornings, my alarm goes off, and I just lay in bed for about ten minutes, contemplating my outfit and the impending day’s happenings, before actually getting up. I always proceed to turn on some type of morning news/talk show for background entertainment while I slab on some make-up and scrunch my curls. One particular morning last week, I was nonchalantly listening to Matt and Meredith (The Today Show) when a specific piece caught my attention. I have thought about that inspirational story every day since I first heard it and feel privileged to share it with you.

For the past two years, Keith and Brooke Desserich have been finding little messages of love and hope in various places around their home – in books, briefcases, dresser drawers, etc. These special notes are from their six year-old daughter, Elena, who had died of pediatric brain cancer two years earlier, 255 days after her diagnosis. Although Elena’s parents never told her that she was dying, they believe that she, somehow, knew she wouldn’t be with them much longer and, therefore, set out on a secret mission of hiding notes,  letters, and drawings for her parents and little sister, Gracie. The family now has enough notes to fill three large plastic containers, and they hope that they never stop finding them. As Brooke says, finding the notes “felt like a little hug from her, like she was telling us that she was looking over us even though she wasn’t with us.”

Clearly, although only six years-old, Elena was wise beyond her years and full of a warm heart and magnanimous spirit. She reinforces my faith in angels, and I truly believe she is in Heaven right now watching over her family as they anticipate the next construction paper heart, post-it, or scrap paper note of love they will find, left by Elena. Elena teaches us to enjoy every minute we have on earth and to make sure that we always tell those persons in our life how much we love them. Instead of dwelling on her fatal illness, she spent her last 255 days on earth ensuring that those persons around her would feel loved, even after she was gone. I am so blessed that I caught this story that one early morning, because sweet, little Elena has reminded me to spread love as often as I can. Her own gestures of love will continue to prevail both on paper and in the hearts of those she has so deeply touched.

Read more about Elena and learn about the book, Notes Left Behind, created to honor Elena. Also, check out The Cure Starts Now, the charity that the Desserich family created in memory of Elena.

Elena Desserich

Elena Desserich Water-skiing

Elena at Hospital

Elena Note

Elena Note

Elena Note

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It feels so wonderful to be in love, to be loved, and to love someone. And what’s so great about love is that it comes in so many shapes, sizes, and forms, and … it’s infinite! Sometimes we forget that the definition of “love” doesn’t just involve romantic love – it’s comprised of loving friends, family, pets, neighbors, God, etc. and being loved by them in return. Never forget that you are always loved, and make sure to let those persons in your life know they are always loved as well. Spread love as often as you can and soak in all the love you receive in return, because allowing yourself to really give love and opening yourself up to receive love is the greatest gift you can give yourself.Pink Heart

“True love stories never have endings.” ~Richard Bach

Snail Love“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” ~Pablo Picasso

Cookies Love Milk

“Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.” ~Author Unknown

Peas and Carrots

“Love does not care to define and is never in a hurry to do so. ~Charles du Bos

PB&J Love

“Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.” ~Zelda Fitzgerald

Salt and Pepper Love

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