George Worthy

Did you say, “I love you!” to anyone today? Or maybe someone said that to you. I ask because I’m curious about how you describe love. What do you mean when you say “I love you”? Do you love someone like I love my truck or do you love someone like you do a good meal?

Love is a very mysterious word. I mean you can’t see or touch love nor can you call it up when you want to say it. I hear someone say “I love you” to someone just about every day. True enough it is not always said to me, but I still hear the words. I try to say it every day to someone that means a lot to me.

Sometimes I catch myself saying “I love you” to a stranger. To me it is difficult to think of anyone getting upset because someone says it to you. Perhaps they will be confused about my meaning, but this gives me an opportunity to explain my intentions of saying the words. This is a good time to get a good grip on how it should come from you if said to someone else. We hear everyday some sort of catalyst that may make the words “I love you” seem counterproductive.

You know, our country is being bombarded daily by actions and words by those who do not truly know what love is all about. It would be easy to just mutter some expletive and walk away, but we just can’t give up. There are a lot of powerful words in our daily conversations. Some are necessary and some not, but if you love someone and you have a very strong and warm feeling of deep commitment, that type of love would be described as a noun.

If you feel passion or a strong affection for someone or some thing, the word “love” would be a verb. If you have none of those feelings you could be loveless. That would not be a good thing regardless of the definition.

When I owned a pet shop up in Salinas, we used to sell love birds. They were fascinating to watch. I used to watch them walk sideways across the perch so they could be closer together. Their heads would come together and it appeared they were actually communicating some feelings for each other. They truly looked like they loved each other and wanted to be together. We always sold them as a pair. If you sold one, the other would go into a funk and just sit there looking at you as the terrible person who broke up the affair.

Their actions reminded me of the ancient emotions I had in high school. I wasn’t the campus dude. My family didn’t have a lot of money for frivolous things like dating. I wasn’t different than most adolescent boys of that era in that I loved lots of girls but couldn’t date because we lived way out in the country, and without a car or some type of transportation, I couldn’t take out a girl. We didn’t have enough money to buy flowers or candy, so I was what they call lovelorn.

Lovelorn is a adjective that means I was sad because my love was not reciprocated. That didn’t change until I joined the Army. I still didn’t have any money, but there were girls that lived off post that I could take a bus to visit. I fell in love about once a month, but I justified that because I might not come back from the next assignment and I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Or so I told myself. Maybe I just didn’t want any commitment.

It’s kind of strange but love can be different things to different people. Like, most guys love a woman, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I loved a lot of guys at one time. Not romantically, but it was a love none the less. I loved every soldier that served under me in the jungles of Vietnam. They didn’t do anything to encourage this love. However, you just knew, somehow, that they would stand in front of you or any of their comrades if danger required that.

They probably didn’t think about love any more than I did then, but when I came home after the first tour I knew what I had seen was love. It was so strong, not just for me but for every soldier I served with. When you see a person expose themselves to deadly fire from the enemy just to save you or another person, you have to start seeing love as a wonderful thing.

Love is a confusing thing to understand even when it strikes you or another person. I truly love my family and often I ask why they return my love. Kids are not born with love; it is something that they learn from their parents or siblings. It has a magic hold over every action taken. 

I have never met a person who didn’t want love in their life. It’s a question or an answer to some situation that has you confused. Even though it is counted as a zero score in tennis, it is a powerful emotion.

I wanted to start this by writing about my great-grandson, Armani, and how he and most babies for that manner, show their love for those who love them. My son-in-law, Eric, had a birthday celebration this past weekend and we all drove up to Discovery Bay to show him how much we love him and how he deserves this adoration due to his love for my daughter, Tara.

Armani has just turned 18 months old and he is, without a doubt, the greatest kid ever. He and I don’t get to see each other that often, but when we do I try to catch his attention to show him how happy he makes me. This was the first time that he gave me a high-five and a knuckle bump and even threw me a kiss. It is those little things that make him so precious.

I have written, in the past, about how our family uses the word in all the different meanings every day. I pray this never changes and Armani will be the carrier of that hope. We all want love. Perhaps some more than others, but think how dark the future would be if we didn’t have that hope.

I didn’t always feel the way I have written. I must tell you, I was not a great believer in what I have written. I got into a lot of trouble and looked for more. I was grown with a daughter who showed me what love can be, when I finally understood the power of love. It was the love of my wife that showed me the error of my ways. She showed me how powerful love truly is.

Gods Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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