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Four Kinds of Love

By Edward A. Rinderle
Posted: 12/15/2023

I am a music lover.  I often walk through my day with a song in my head.  Sometimes, I even sing it out loud.  I have my favorites, and one of these is “The Rose” by Bette Midler.  

The first verse of “The Rose” speaks of how people can think of love in four different ways. I began to muse over how I might have loved in each of those ways at some time in my life.  Hence, the following.

Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed.

Have I ever loved like that?  I'm afraid that the answer is yes.  With my kids when they were little.  I so wanted to convey my “wisdom” to them about what is the “right way” to live.  I was sure I had that “right way” all figured out, so I tried to impose it on them.  Out of love, of course.  It turns out that  I was right about some things, but wrong about others.  My kids have all grown into good people, however I choose to define “good”.  But there are some scars, scars that are my doing.  

Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.

My kids again.  When I think back on my mistakes in raising them, my soul bleeds.  And with my dear Jean, in the last few months of her life - when she had lost nearly all of her ability to speak - as I tried to determine futilely what kind of help she needed, I bled.  I still do.

Some say love, it is a hunger an endless aching need.

I miss Jean so!  I hunger for her touch.

I say love, it is a flower and you, its only seed.

In my pain, I find myself surrounded by sowers.  Caring people that sow the seeds of love to me and to others.  People in Pasadena Village.  Friends and family in my neighborhood and beyond.  I know that the seeds they are sowing will sprout some day.  I can feel it happening.  I can hardly wait to see the flowers.

I've recently joined a grief group.  Something strange and wonderful seems to be happening there.  I see fellow grievers respond to something I say or do with kind words of gratitude.  Am I becoming a sower, too?


When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong.
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose.


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