By Barbara Guarino Kruk
I have witnessed the profession of love in countless ways. Love comes easily when the blush of youth and health are the main ingredients, but the true test of love evolves over time. This Tuesday we celebrated the holiday of love, Valentine’s Day. The red satin hearts, roses, and Hallmark cards have defined the commercial side of this beautiful day. Yet the true benchmarks of love lie in the halls of hospitals, the day rooms of nursing homes and the play rooms of orphanages.
After the chocolate is eaten, the cupid cards are in the trash and the skimpy nighties are all tucked away, do we profess our love daily? Loving someone is to appreciate that person, with all their faults, with all their excess baggage. The prom queen you married fifty years ago is whitehaired and crippled with arthritis. The hunk from the football team with that great head of hair is now bald and his six-pack has multiplied to a case. If we love just for the physical attributes our relationships will never last the test of time.
Love is comforting a dying person. Love is snowblowing the old man next door’s driveway. Love is staying up all night with your child who is burning with fever, picking up groceries for a housebound elderly or sick friend. Love is standing at the grave. The sacrifice of those who give up their lives so that others may live in peace and freedom. Our veterans, our police and firefighters, the doctors and ambulance men and women; theirs is the ultimate gift of love. An organ donor who gives the gift of life. To adopt a child; to give shelter to the homeless and food to the hungry. To save an unwanted animal from death through adoption. This is LOVE.
To love someone is to say “thank you”. Thank you for all the small things they do, like dropping you off in front of the supermarket while they search for a parking spot. We always think that to be truly worthwhile a gift must be material, physical or financial. What about the gifts that money cannot buy? What about feeding your parents? What about changing the diapers of an aging spouse? Are these not labors of love?
The roses, the jewelry, are all very grand, but in the end they will never replace the unconditional love of a frightened child, an elderly parent or a sick spouse. Look into the eyes of those you love, what do you see reflecting back at you? Apply Ben-Gay to your hurting partner, make chicken soup for your sick grandbaby or pray for an ailing friend.
Love is powerful medicine for the heart and soul. Love can heal the wounded and uplift the forlorn. Buy the flowers, bring the candy, but never, never, forget to share your heart.
Theresa Gaglione, age 84, of Shirley, died peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family on February 11, 2017. Theresa was born in Brooklyn and was a homemaker. She was an avid
soap opera fan. She enjoyed Bingo, going to her senior citizen meetings at the Nutrition Center. Theresa was also a fan of Betty Boop, a diehard Brooklyn Dodger’s Baseball fan and had a great devotion to her faith and attended Mass at St. Jude’s RC Church faithfully. Theresa was predeceased by her beloved husband
Gennaro. She is survived by her children, Aniello (Susan), Dominick (Rachel), Antoinette (Donald) Fahie and Josephine (Michael) Stephens. She was the cherished grandmother of Elizabeth, Benjamin, Michael, Janine, Melissa, Billy, Vincent, Theresa, Rosario, Annie, Matt, Donna, Julie, Amanda, Sofia and Emma, and adored great-grandmother of Joseph and Ella. Family and friends were welcomed at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church. Interment took place at Calverton National Cemetery.