As a follow up to Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share a story about my parents. Richard and Frances Shepherd met during WWII and married shortly afterwards. Their love carried them literally through sickness and health because they chose to still love each other through the good and bad times.
All of my life, my dad was in and out of the Veterans Hospital up until his death. Mom was essentially a single mom raising three children. She never complained or acted resentful that she carried the load financially or as a parent. She spoke to my dad and of my dad with nothing but love and respect. Theirs was a love grounded not only in emotion, but also in commitment.
Dad always gave flowers to Mom. We had a neighborhood florist and he walked there when his health permitted. The flower shop enjoyed working with him because of his creativity and devoted love.
For their 25th anniversary, we three children were hosting an afternoon reception at our house to honor our parents. At ten o’clock that morning, the doorbell rang with a floral delivery from Dad to Mom. It was a dainty china teacup with tiny roses — a perfect selection for my gracious, Southern Belle Mama. She proudly placed it on the table where the refreshments would be served.
At eleven o’clock, the doorbell rang with another floral delivery — a second china teacup arrangement. My practical mind thought that maybe the florist had a mix up on deliveries (it can happen!). Mom placed it on the table with the other one. This teacup was a different china pattern and complemented the first one beautifully.
At twelve noon, the florist delivered yet another teacup. Of course, Mom had them clustered on the table, displayed at different heights, which was true to her innate design skills. I began to think of the symbolism of Dad’s gesture, so I asked him if it was one arrangement for each of their children. A man of few words, he replied,
“One just didn’t seem like enough!”
Now that is a love story! Theirs was a love that lavished one another even though they were of very humble means. I was reminded of the Bible story where Mary poured the expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus. She lavished her love on Him.
Lavish – bestowing profusely. Lavish love may be displayed not just through things, but also through kindness, consideration and steadfastness. The moral of the story? Don’t be stingy with your love. Lavish it, not just on designated holidays but throughout the year. Don’t wait!