To be thought Love.

By Andrea Lynn Cianflone

“What is love, Andrea?” I was wearing an apron, holding a large platter, and serving food to about ten people in a private side dining room while being asked one of the biggest existential questions that a seventeen-year-old gal could be asked. As I poured wine into the members’ glasses and laid down plates of pasta on the table, I wondered if I should politely decline the question (would I still get a tip?) or offer my thoughts. I cannot recall my exact response as it was so long ago from my days as a banquet server, but a response came out of this young gal with braces, “Well, I guess love is about doing nice things for each other?!” (Did I pass the test?)

Certainly, there have been true stories of people fighting greater tests of love, like the main character in the movie, Philomena. The movie is a about a woman named Philomena Lee who searches for her adopted son Anthony Lee (Michael Hess) over a fifty-year period. She connects with journalist Martin Sixsmith, and after some research and investigation, Martin finds that the son is a prominent politician who had passed away. He breaks the news to Philomena and as one could imagine, it is a heartbreaking moment for the Mother who had tirelessly worked to reunite with her son.

Though depressed by the knowledge that her son passed away, she still desired to know the people who knew him, for she was psychologically soothed by the idea that her son Anthony had thought of her throughout the years. Near the end of the movie, she learns that Anthony clearly held his Mom in his heart, as he desired to be buried at the monastery where Philomena’s father had forced her to live due to having a child out of wedlock. They met again, at least in spirit, at the gravesite.

As I write this post on Valentine’s Day, I am reminded of the ways in which people have thought of me throughout 2020 and quite recently. I am reminded how the simple thought of another person lead to a loving action. These loving actions kept my business alive, my spirit alive, and the hope that tomorrow would be a brighter day. I received generous gifts of support, consistent encouragement, and some random acts of kindness. Quite recently, I received a lovely card and gift in the mail from a friend in New York City and was surprised with a dozen long-stem red roses by a gentleman a couple weeks ago. Love-in-action starts with a thought. Who are you thinking of today?

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