Richard Weirich

The Love You May Be Missing

There is an old saying about “older and wiser.”  If that’s the case then I must be busting at the seams with wisdom.

Actually, time is a great teacher.  There’s a wealth of knowledge to be learned from experience.

When I was writing IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, I thought more about my grandfather, Charlie Polk, well, more than ever.  He always took a backseat in my affections mainly because I didn’t think he really loved me all that much.

My grandmother was always demonstrating her love for me.  She cooked my favorite meals, bought me whatever I needed, and was very vocal in her affection.  Never had a doubt that she loved me.

Granddaddy was quiet, seldom ever said a word to me, and even when he did it was in the form of a little tune he would hum when he didn’t like my behavior.  He drove an old station wagon in which he hauled hay and feed and…smelly animals.  When the weather was bad he took me to school in the “Embarassmobile.”

The only time I can ever recall him saying anything about me that translated into “he loves me” was when I was 10-years-old.  It was the day of my daddy’s funeral.  On that rainy day in Reliance, Virginia, while standing in the cemetery with my grandparents, I heard him say to my grandmother, “Mable, we’ve got another boy to raise.”

Another clue was on the day I kicked a football through an upstairs window.  He didn’t kill me.  I’m willing to accept that as an act of love.

Here, however, is what I was missing.  In fact, I would be willing to bet that many of us are guilty of the same thing.  He used to take me to places in which I had zero interest.  Took me to the livestock sale in Woodstock, to the field where he kept his cattle, to the hog pen where he slopped the hogs, and one day he took me to a place called Strathmore (the setting for IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE).

Charlie Polk & Janet
Charlie Polk & Janet

What did all that mean?  He was sharing what he loved to demonstrate his love.

When I married Janet he beamed.  Happiest I’ve ever seen him.  The first thing he did was take her to see his cattle and when he found out that she loved horses, he bought one.

Chances are there is somebody in your life who has expressed their love for you in a way that is difficult for you to grasp.  Maybe it’s time to rethink that relationship.  You might just find the love you have been missing.

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