Since I was a child, I yearned for the stability that comes only from relationships that have stood the test of time. A dear friend, who has long since passed away, once said “you only have one great love in a lifetime”. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that the great loves in one’s life come at the cost of personal sacrifice. Love is not won by selfish acts, but when one is willing to lay down one’s life for the beloved. One does not learn how to love by demanding it, but by exercising one’s heart. In my stubborn youth, I allowed my pride to get in the way of love- with the result that I wounded those whom I should have held in the highest regard. I have reaped what I sowed. Fragmented relationships with my siblings. Distant parents, long dead, and never really known. Now I watch helplessly as my older son navigates his way through the snarly and treacherous pathway that will end in the dissolution of his marriage. The walls grow ever higher, and his toddler son, ever more anxious. The security that we had hoped to bequeath to our own sons has been hijacked by selfish immaturity- and both parties must shoulder the responsibility. I will know when the healing has started when the excuses cease- when the blame game shifts to the taking of ownership for one’s own actions. And perhaps then will my son be given the gift of one great love.