Love Is It.

Love Is It.

By Kate Kole

There is a heaviness that hits my heart each year when I flip the calendar page to July. I feel it as I struggle to sleep in the middle of the night, I feel it in my initial waking thoughts each morning, and I feel it as my mind wanders throughout the day.

As I rolled out of bed a few hours ago, I felt it’s deepest twinge. The way I always do on the 3rd. I thought of my brother and our last memory together as we sat laughing in the hallway of our family home. It’s been 13 years since then, and still, it’s grip on me and its significance in my life is as strong now as it ever was.

We all have those experiences that shape us. Those moments that change our course in an instant. From the second they occur, we know our lives will never be the same. I felt it when I talked to my husband for the first time, and when I quit my job to change careers. I felt it as I moved across the country, and as we giddily drove to pick up our first puppy. I felt it when we lost my brother.

Over a decade later, I still feel it. And I still miss him. I miss the way he could persuade anyone into doing what he wanted, and the way he passionately cheered on his favorite teams. I miss his competitiveness, his humor, and his protectiveness. I miss the way he smelled with one spray too many of his cologne, and the way he stared at a fridge full of food, complaining that we had nothing to eat. I miss the memories we didn’t get to make.

But what I don’t miss, what I surprisingly haven’t missed, are the things that he’ll teach me throughout my life. The guidance and the perspective that he’ll provide. Because his life and the way he chose to live it are the constant reminder of what’s most important in my own.

In a work hard, play harder culture, his time on Earth shone a light on an essential third component: love hardest.

Because when we’re gone, that is what remains. Not our things. Not our accolades. Not our titles. Not our looks. Not our status. But, the way we lived and even more, the way we loved.

So today, with my brother as my inspiration, I’ll choose to show up in my relationships the way he showed up in his. I’ll carry joy, humor, and gratitude into each moment, the same way he did. I’ll see this day and this life as an opportunity to create meaningful work, and as an invitation to play full out, but mostly, as a calling to love.

{featured image via pexels}

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