“Honest Heart Produce Honest Actions”
– Brigham Young
Actions speak louder than words. Personally, I believe this to be wholeheartedly true and recently, I discovered something that concreted this belief; this beautiful message Lucy left for her brother on Valentines Day (for which she has given me permission to show).
Other than with myself and her Dad, Lucy (who is now 11) guards her emotions and keeps them close to her chest. We will never know if this is down to feeling pressured to giving family members and close family friends cuddles when she was little or whether it is an inherent personality trait. Whatever the reason, it is part of her make-up now and we respect that.
Mitchel, on the other hand, is openly affectionate. He loves his cuddles and he wears his heart on his sleeve so when his sister is non-receptive it can sometimes be hard for him to understand that she does love him.
To be honest, it has saddened me to think that the affection may always be one-sided and I am ashamed to admit that I have been guilty of gently reprimanding Lucy for not showing her brother a bit more love. However, knowing Lucy as I do, I knew that pushing her in that direction would force her to retreat even further so I have sat back hoping that one day, as Liz and I have discovered, their sibling affection will be strong when it matters.
My patience has paid off. In her own time, this thoughtful note came from Lucy without agenda – I stumbled across it when I was tidying Mitchel’s room and so it wasn’t made for my attention. It was a simple yet poignant gesture of affection and it shows her love for her brother on so many levels.
- She recognises Valentines Day as a day to show love.
- She acknowledges Mitchel’s achievements in getting his first job
- She signs off with ‘Sis’ a term of affection by Mitchel she normally rejects, but acknowledges it as how he sees her.
When the wrong words are spoken they can be cutting and hurtful. If the right words are said they can be lip service. However, the act of a written word in this way speaks volumes.
“We can’t command our love, but we can our actions”
– Arthur Conan Doyle
Whilst writing this I reflected back on how Liz and I were with each other when we were growing up and although our recollection is that we didn’t share much affection towards each other, I remember Liz making me a lovely sewing kit consisting of a customised basket with a red ribbon threaded through, the essential sewing bits and bobs and a red, white and blue cover to keep it all concealed. This was clearly made with love and although, sadly, I do not have it anymore, I do, as you can see, vividly remember having it.
Isn’t this a great story. It is gorgeous to see Lucy’s note to Mitchel. I know them as my dear, beloved nephew and niece. Obviously I am biased, but I see them as miraculous. It is a privilege to see what they do and how they live their lives. Like all children, we can learn much from them.