|'Love is where you find it'|
|Wednesday, 25 January 2017|
by Vivian Lawson Hogue
The word “love” has come to mean so many things. In the beginning, it surely meant one of two things, one being the deep feeling a human has for another, even a pet, and the other being the “agape” (uh-gah’-pay) love that is the unperishable devotion God has for his children.
Nowadays, the word is used lightly or with a different purpose. Some people “love” golfing, mocha frappes, a movie or book, a lipstick color, a car or an actor they do not know. We have come upon times of not knowing any but the most extreme words for feelings. “I love you-u-u!” or “love ya!” are now yelled across college parking lots in place of saying “goodbye.” “Luv u” is enough for cell phone texters.
It is that first mentioned definition that is interesting to me because it involves chance and the involvement of two hearts. Maybe they meet while those hearts are mending after a divorce or loss of a spouse. It may be two people who are long-time acquaintances, close friends, friends-of-friends or colleagues.
501 LIFE publisher Sonja Keith has her own story of chance and two hearts. She says, “I moved to Conway in 1986 to take a job as a reporter at the Log Cabin Democrat. In 1990, Frank E. Robins promoted me to managing editor. As such, one of my first tasks was to hire my replacement and fill another vacancy in the newsroom. I hired Tammy and David Keith, who were living and working in Jonesboro at the time. We became great friends and I spent a lot of time with them. Tammy had the idea to introduce me to David’s brother, Tom. We met the weekend of Toad Suck Daze in 1991 and began a courtship that lasted 12 months. He was living and working in Holly Springs, Miss., so we would take turns traveling back and forth nearly every weekend. We became engaged Toad Suck Daze weekend the following year and were married Aug. 15, 1992.”
In my own case, my husband and I met in 1991 during an October parent/teacher conference at Conway High School, where I was teaching. As a single father, he was admirably carrying out a parent’s responsibility. One of his children was in my class, so he was to visit with me, then go to the junior high to check with his other child’s teachers. He paced the hall waiting his turn and I was intrigued that he carried a large cell phone, a relatively new technological development at the time. We finally had our conference. He left, and soon it was break time. I went to the lounge and upon my description of the last parent and his cell phone, my perceptive art colleague said, “You’re going to marry him!” We had both had earlier marriages and were not looking for another, so I said, “Of course not!” But I did in 1992.
The common denominator in these stories and millions of others is that they happened by chance, or as many feel, by spiritual design. Occasionally, we note obituaries in which one spouse of a couple who has been married many decades passes away, and the other follows a short time later, sometimes only hours later. The two had become one flesh, as God planned, and in the process, their hearts, faithfulness and steadfastness had blended. Commitment was the tie they expected to bind them.
No casual “love ya’s” there – they took care of each other in sickness and health and weathered the tribulations of life in shared dedication. Love on St. Valentine’s Day is generally expressed on that one day of the year, but for many, it is a lifetime of devotion and sacrifice that prevails. And words of affection or a Mylar balloon now and then can’t hurt!
A native of Conway, Vivian Lawson Hogue graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in art education. A retired teacher, she worked in the Conway School District for 23 years. She is editor of the Faulkner County Historical Society’s semi-annual publication, “Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.