Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4 - 7

When we hear or see these lines we typically think of the reading from the Holy Bible presented at a wedding. These lines can be seen on on various plaques and other decorations. These words though take a whole new meaning in my life.

If we would look further along in this passage, we see that the chapter ends with: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

The hardest thing to do for many people is to love. I'm not saying that we don't make a valiant attempt at loving others. What I am saying is that to fully understand love one must understand sacrifice.

My nephew was turning one and my sister was having a special birthday party for him. Many guests were coming. My wife and I drove over 500 miles to be there at the event. Not only is he my nephew, but he is also my godchild. I knew that this trip would be difficult for my body, but I was willing to make the sacrifice.

Upon arriving at my parents's home, I knew physically the days ahead were going to be difficult. I had hardly any balance. Walking was a struggle. Restful sleep was nearly nonexistent. For the next sixty-three hours we would be extremely busy with a full schedule. Jean and I would help set up and tear down the party; I could hardly do much.

In the middle of our journey home, I had to yield driving duties to my wife. I could not remain awake. Once we were home I went to bed earlier and then I normally would. Sleep continue to be lousy. Each day and night I struggled with the pain and weakness in my body. After seven days I do not feel physically well, or as well as I did prior to the trip.

Through this entire experience one thing has been constant. The love that my wife has for me. She has faith in me that I will let her know when I am struggling. I know she hopes for my physically feeling better, but I know she suffers too. I know she does not like seeing me in this condition. I know she wishes that I did not have to go through life living with Parkinson's. But her love for me is strong. She is there to comfort me when I am in pain and celebrate my small victories.

When living away from family there are sacrifices that you have to make. This trip is a sacrifice, it is difficult. With sacrifice though can come great joy. I do not know who loves my nephew more, my wife or I. It was with great joy when I heard those words,"Auntie Jean"  spoken by my nephew after our first telephone call since returning home a week ago. You could hear the pure love of a child and see the reflection of that joy in the tears of our eyes.

Will we continue to make the long journey? Yes. Will we do it frequently? Probably not. We will have to be patient and plan trips that allow us to enjoy the time spent with family while understanding what physical possibilities exist. This understanding will come from not only my wife and I, but those that we love and are visiting.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of Angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." (13: 1-3)

As I reflect on the beginning of this passage from 1 Corinthians, I am reminded, no one ever said that living with Parkinson's is easy, but "Love never fails." (13:8)