The Decision

I can still remember the first time I truly felt my heart break. I was 25 years old, sitting in a hospital room with the rest of my family. My beautiful Mom was in the last day of her courageous 4 year fight with Cancer. I looked down on her withered body lying on the bed and saw the sadness in her eyes. She could no longer speak but we all still felt her love for us.

Together we waited while her breathing grew more and more shallow. When at last the machine signaled her heart had stopped I heard an anguished cry escape my lips while I felt my heart break. On the drive home tears overwhelmed me again and I had to pull off the side of the road.

I didn’t know how I was going to go on without her.

Later after her funeral my own health broke and the doctor diagnosed me with double pneumonia. It took me a long time to heal physically and spiritually I still felt dead inside. For many months afterwards I just went through the motions of living. I did everything I was supposed to do but could not put my shattered heart into any of it.

Finally, one day I was sitting in my chair with my two small children on my lap. I could see too where my third child was rapidly growing inside my pregnant wife. As my arms held my giggling babies I realized that I had to make a decision. I had to decide to live again. I had to decide to love again. I knew it was the only way to heal my broken heart and give my children the Dad they deserved.

Day by day after that I made the choice to love and each day I felt a little stronger and a little better. By choosing to love again, I had slowly lifted my soul and mended my heart until I could feel her healing love inside me.

The decision to love is one that we are all called to make everyday of our lives. We are called to love in joy and in heartbreak. We are called to love on our best days and on our worst days as well. Victor Frankl who suffered through the Nazi concentration camps and survived wrote that “Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. The salvation of man is through love and in love.”

Make the decision to love today. Make the decision to love God. Make the decision to love yourself. Make the decision to love everyone as yourself. “God is Love” and God made us from love. Embrace your true self then and just love, today, tomorrow, and for all eternity.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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