The Way of Love

Us in 1977

It was Valentine’s Day 1977. I remember some of his words. “The seeds of love have been planted….” is how it started and ended with a marriage proposal. I don’t remember the specifics after the first few words because I was thinking how corny it sounded. I was scared. I was uncomfortable with love.



What does a 19-year-old know of love, romantic love, when she can’t recall seeing her parents show affection. The one time I remember seeing my dad come from behind to give my mom a hug while she was cooking her faced showed some kind of delight but she wriggled away as if she were uncomfortable. I must have been about 12. I don’t remember seeing them hold hands or share looks. Maybe it was there. Children don’t often pay attention to that. But I don’t think so.

Daddy was always free with hugs for me. Not an issue but he became very fearful as I got older and started dating. His discomfort with my maturity was noticeable. They were divorced by then. He was vigilant in setting strict curfews and not allowing me to go to things like dances. (Boys and who knows what else?)

How does one know how to be loved when love was about fear?

With our first child in 1978



I see it now but I didn’t when I stood there as Henry was talking to me from his heart. I don’t know if he has any idea how nervous I was. Even now. Though scared, I said yes. It was something between me and God. And I said yes.

I have been learning about love ever since. Not always a good student. Moments of awkward discomfort have crept in during the learning. Trust had to be given; patience his gift to me. Learning together. This is the way of love.

11 thoughts on “The Way of Love

  1. iamnotshe says:

    Oh Debby, you guys are so beautiful together. And sweetie, i get the “fear” around love. I read the book “love is letting go of fear” … something like that … didn’t stick. Just a short read, but still didn’t matter. It always seemed like such a weird conundrum, right? Fear and love? How or why would you fear love?

    BUT, me ma and me da did the same thing … sort of stayed away from each other. Sometimes dad would kiss mom, but she always looked so UPSET! I thought daddy was great! Oh Geez, yet another reason to think poor mom was a goof!

    ANYWAY … look at your guys today? VERY TAN, and BIG SMILES!!! Awesome. Happy Valentine’s day to you and Henry. You are a lover!!! Fear not πŸ˜‰ xoxo m

    • Debby says:

      So many things I wonder sometime about our parents and the things they didn’t share, maybe even with each other. We’re still finding out way, aren’t we? I feel blessed in so many ways. You add to those blessings, friend πŸ˜€

  2. iamnotshe says:

    Oh, and what a gorgeous couple back in the 70’s. I don’t know how you missed the screwy 70’s (in that druggy, drinky) sort of way πŸ˜‰ More evidence that you know love, and share it.

    • Debby says:

      I have to smile a bit, Heidi because I was thinking earlier if I was a little too open. But I think not for me, others, maybe. Mama wouldn’t understand it all πŸ˜‰ I guess there is a freeing component to it. Mostly to share we all have something and aren’t alone in trying to figure life out. I’m blessed to have had a spiritual foundation that has pointed me to a better way. Still working on it. Always. Thank you for your kind, honest words. I want nothing less.

  3. Debbie says:

    Some of my close family members were inappropriately affectionate with me and with others. Getting just the right love message is hard. As you say, we learn as we live, and we redefine love by the wounds inflicted and the gifts freely given.
    Thank God, the Lover of our soul, tenderly teaches us about true love.
    You and Henry were adorable back then and inspiring today!
    Happy Valentine’s day to a couple who demonstrates love by example – to each other and for the many, many whose lives you touch!

    • Debby says:

      Debbie, I like that song, Jesus, Lover of My Soul and the words to that other hymn – O Love that Will Not Let Me Go. Just the title is compelling and pulls me closer. How about you? I know the answer to that one. Surely, one day we’ll have a chance to meet? You are that heart sister and I hope your heart is bursting with love today and every day! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart πŸ™‚

  4. katharinetrauger says:

    To explain our mothers (mine included, here) I think PDA, even in the kitchen, was officially frowned upon back then, as a practice for good girls, but guys would get amorous and forget the rules. So moms would maybe giggle, but also feel uncomfortable.
    Also, guys often get amorous with very bad timing, speaking from a woman’s monthly needs point of view. Perhaps when mom was willing, she took the lead and less happened in the kitchen? I don’t know.
    However, they now say that is unhealthy, that children should see their parents exchange affection. I tend to agree. Affection, yes.

    • Debby says:

      Katharine, there is more complexity than we know, I’m sure. Especially as a child looking to their parents. I’m glad our children see Henry’s arm around me and us holding hands and exchanging a quick kiss. One of the sweet pictures I hold in my mind is of Henry’s parents holding hands well into their 70’s. More important are the words of kindness and gentleness to be shared. I can do a lot better in that area.
      Did you ever read any of Kevin Leman’s books? I remember one he wrote called Sex Begins in the Kitchen. That man knew about women πŸ˜‰

      • katharinetrauger says:

        I know what you mean!
        No, I always looked at Leman’s books with longing, but was too busy trying to raise kids to read about it! πŸ™‚
        I am so glad for you that your in-laws modeled what you missed in those areas. My folks hardly ever touched, but all us kids are the opposite.
        Who knows!

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