When I Think About Love… by Mary Neubauer

Mary, Mark and Baby Mia are some of the most wonderful people I had the privilege and honor of meeting on my trip. They treated me to The Saltlick Bar-B-Que in Austin, TX and shared with me some ridiculously funny stories about how they met, how he proposed, and how they all came to be in love. I think I related just a tad bit more with them than anyone else I met because Mary is Vietnamese. Here is Mary’s super amazing interpretation and analogy of love that she emailed to me. Much love to the Neubauers… hope to see y’all again!

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Yes, red hearts, flowers and Valentines day quickly come to mind.  How can it not?  Hallmark has very successfully commercialized “Love.“  And yet, I know better.  That’s not love.  It’s how you buy your way out of a boo boo or how to buy your way into someone’s bed.

So what is love?

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One of my favorite  stories/quotes about love comes from the children’s story The Velveteen Bunny. He is actually having a conversation about becoming REAL. But if you replace REAL with LOVE, does it change the meaning of the story? I think it makes the story come to life.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

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“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

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Isn’t that a grand idea?  Believing that at the end of your life, your hair has all fallen out and you’re all loose in the joints because you’ve been loved to death.  That’s how I’d like to imagine getting older.  Not that you’re falling apart, but that love has gotten a hold of you.  When I’m 85, sitting on my front porch, watching my slew of grandchildren playing and they think I’ve lost it and am just staring off into space… I’m pondering all the love I’ve experienced in my life.

LOVE,

~Mary

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