PEOPLE sometimes prefer to stay in their comfort zones because they are afraid to invest in love. They are afraid to be hurt so they prefer to deny their feelings. In my younger years after being dumped by my first love in high school, I went to college promising myself that I would not get another boyfriend. True enough, I enjoyed college life having a lot of male friends but no special one. Looking back, I now completely agree with some of my friends who said that it was stupid of me to be afraid.

After college, I joined life in the mainstream and realized that some people were loyal and honest. I got married and am now a widow with five wonderful daughters who each have families of their own. I actually have a total of 10 grandchildren. Today, I cannot imagine myself just sitting on the fence and watching life pass by.

Does one get hurt in the process of allowing oneself to be vulnerable? Definitely! However, one gets to be alive.

So many men and women today are so afraid to commit themselves in the sacrament of matrimony. I know of some intelligent young women who are “living in” with the men of their choice because they would rather not have any ties. The excuse they give is this, “We prefer life this way so if the relationship does not work, then there is no need for an annulment!” I have yelled myself hoarse to try to convince at least two pairs of couples to change their lifestyle to a commitment but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Sad to say, their relationships have turned sour over the years and they have chosen to remain with shields over their hearts.

Can you imagine not having children in a home because of the fear of not having the means to send them to a good school?

I admire the families whose only problem is financial. Everything else in their family is solid.

I know of a family of five who are barely surviving on the meager means which their income allows. They all chip in on the chores. The eldest child is in high school while the other two are in the lower grades. Dad and mom are both working, so the children make their own beds, clean their rooms, prepare for school while mom and dad prepare breakfast. They leave the house together. The kids are dropped off at school with their lunchboxes inside their bags. They all meet again at night when the dad picks up mom from work and the children ride the school bus home. By the time the parents get home, the children have taken care of supper and the family sits down together. I truly admire the way the children have been brought up and I enjoy watching them at work and at play. They have to do without a lot of material things. However, one thing they have in abundance is feelings for each other.

They have their share of frictions, quarrels and cold wars but according to their mom, it’s the making up which really makes everything worthwhile.

I remember this story which came from the mom herself. It seems, one rather busy morning when everyone was in the car halfway to school, the youngest in grade four said, “Oh my gosh! I forgot my lunchbox!” The mom immediately offered hers saying she would make do with a sandwich at the office canteen. Immediately, the two older children said, “No mommy, that’s yours! We will just share our lunch with him. We will eat together this time!” This mom nearly broke down in tears of thanks giving knowing that she had wonderful children! Their courage to invest in love, and care paid off in results which money can’t buy.

One day when this particular family will grow in years the beautiful memories they will have can be memories to fill the heart with warmth.

Most of us who went through hard times when our children were growing up remember the times when the rent money was due, when the electric and water bills were due and when the tuition money had to be ready. We remember the holes in the socks or shoes. We even remember the hand-me-down dresses which had to be dyed. Yet, we also remember the joy of presence, the laughter that filled the house and the love which permeated our souls.

It takes a lot of courage to invest in love but those of us who ventured to participate in life have nothing but joy and happiness to share. Investing in love takes a lot of guts and it certainly is living!