Monday, November 30, 2009

Love... thankfully.

Wow. It’s a busy time of year, isn’t it? For those of us in the states, we’re probably still finishing up those Thanksgiving leftovers. We probably gathered with family and friends to eat, well, pretty much everything in sight and then whined about it afterward. I don’t know which is more uncomfortable, the way I’ll feel after a long day of gluttony or the way I’ll feel after several days cooped up with relatives!

Not that I don’t love each and every one of them dearly, of course. I do, I do! I’m really looking forward to spending time with all my wonderful family as we go through this holiday season. But you know sometimes love is easier when it’s at a healthy distance and not sleeping on the pull-out for days at a time.

This is why I love reading (and, of course, writing) romance. Sigh. I get such a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I get to “The End”. Good has triumphed, struggles are all in the past, and our happy couple can ride off into the sunset and make babies. Babies who won’t spit up on their beautiful clothes or interfere with their vibrant love life, of course. Any evil in-laws have been vanquished and grumpy siblings have had a change of heart. We just know all will be well for this couple and their days—and nights—will be full of harmonious bliss.

I’ve got a whole pile of this “rescue reading” set aside to get me through the holidays, as a matter of fact. I hope you do, too. We all need something to shine a light at the end of the tunnel for us because, let’s face it, as dear and special as this season is, life isn’t always full of smiling pilgrims and turkey dinner.

In the past twelve months, our family has seen two funerals, three strokes, cancer, job loss, Alzheimer’s, school troubles, a broken arm and more than one broken dream. There will definitely be a shadow hovering over this year’s feast days. But love will be there, too.

This is why we need romance. Love really does conquer all things. Our rational, grown-up brains know that the hero and heroine will eventually have to face more trials, but for that one final page of the book we can live in their moment of un-shadowed joy. We trust that after all they’ve been through so far, they will surely survive what’s to come.

And that’s just like real life. As we laugh and squabble and pass the peas, we know that love has brought the family this far and love will keep it going. Life might not be perfect, but love is. Thankfully.

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