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Katy Byrne
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Katy Byrne

Time is a four-letter word

Time flies by. It seems to flit past me at the speed of light. No wonder it’s a four letter word, but so is love. These two little words hit me with a thump on my head when an acquaintance died suddenly this month. We hadn’t been close, so I was surprised to be crying so hard. Then I realized that I loved this man. He made me smile, he danced with me. He was always kind.  It seemed like a poignant insight, sitting down with my hand to my chin, that it’s not just our families or marriages that matter, not just best friends or partners. Love happens in every part of our daily lives, all the time.  I reflected on tiny moments when he made me laugh. I remembered how I would grin from ear to ear when he walked by. Memories flashed through me, the way they do when we lose love. And there I was, sitting at my desk, tears streaming down with more memories of little moments, like the last ditch attempt I made to hire a fifth roofer who finally helped me. He worked so hard. Other roofers took my money and ran – even though I pleaded after their repairs didn’t hold. This guy cared, and it showed. I even called him last week to thank him for such a safe winter and he said he’d be here for me anytime. No more winter trauma with water torture over my bed. This week it was my car mechanic who stayed late as I stood there shivering, windows stuck wide open after his closing time. He not only got my windows rolled back up, he didn’t even charge me.  Love lives in unexpected places. It was on Facebook this morning in a post saying that a family finally found their cat after months of praying.  As I write about all this, I see the image of my father getting up early on rainy Seattle mornings to drive me to school. He pulled himself out of a warm bed every single cold and drizzling morning, for all those high school years.  And so here we are again at Valentines season. And I hear from clients and couples who, full of trepidation, enter my office with their concerns. I have the honor of witnessing their stories. They unfold their armor, along with their fears, and wishes, revealing soft underbellies that usually exist underneath anger. (Even couples who view each other as Darth Vader muster the courage to open up to their longing to belong!)  Love takes effort and time, but nothing matters as much. And in these turbulent times, when all of us feel some hope and some heartbreak, remember to give a little love to someone every day. And when your heart hurts, remember what Gandhi said, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always.” Time is a four letter word and so is love. So, love as much as you can, before it’s too late.    
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