In the morning it came.
So softly and gently love came, I was scarcely aware of its presence. It was in the giving and taking in the family and in our prayers for each other. It was abundant in our parents’ sacrifices and service for us. It was in their example, their quiet counsel; and sometimes in silence, when youthful, unbridled words offended. It was manifest in their discipline.
It was in the frequent fasting of our mother, especially for those who were ill or away at work, on missions, or in the service of our country. We would learn later of the efficacy of her prayers. Her letters were rich with encouragement, faith, and love.
In the midday it came.
Promising beauty and fulfillment, I heard it in my husband’s counsel and in his daily words, “I love you.” I felt it in his kisses, the cradle of his arm at night, his hand clasped in mine as we walked.
I saw it when he held my coat, opened the door for me, brought me the first wild rose in the springtime and little gifts on special days and in-between days.
I knew it in the way he worked and sacrificed that his family might have the needful things. I saw it in the eyes and actions of the loving sons he gave to me.
In the evening it has come.
Filled with memories of happier times perhaps, love also brings respect and increased concern for my welfare from sons who have obeyed and reached for worthwhile goals. I see it in their help in small or large matters and in their patience in listening to my troubles, to my unasked-for advice, and perhaps even to my reminiscing.
I find it in the concern of their wives for me. And so very much do I find it in the sweet grandchildren they have given me. Did their grandfather whisper to them before they were born that they were to tell me often “I love you”? I only know their presence and affection are a vital part of my living.
From all of these loves, and the love of friends, I have been nourished, comforted, healed, and enriched.
And over all the long day has been the beneficent love of a watchful and merciful Father.