Hayley Ziebart

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February 15, 2013
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Hayley Ziebart: Love every day. And love Him.

For many reasons, I choose to call Valentine's Day "Love Day."

I will start by wishing everyone another happy "Love Day" and share with you my personal thoughts around this subject, especially as of late.

As I have attested for the past five or so months now, a person really does not know the breadth - the very depth - of love that exists all around them until something in their life, like my current situation, brings it to light.

From the very first day at OHSU - filled with scary and unfamiliar tests and appointments and surrounded by initial strangers there to poke and prod - I was given the opportunity to experience this kind of love. A situation that could have remained scary became quite comforting and even silly in moments.

Sure, we were working to "keep it light," but what really floored me was how my medical team was with this young woman who was obviously scared out of her wits and still in utter shock of it all. Recognizing this, they all banned together and treated me with LOVE.

Throughout this journey, it's been the same. Nurses I've never met going out of their way to get to know me quickly, taking a personal interest in my life, my children, my career aspirations - all the things that exist in my "now normal" and my "plans after this normal," too.

NEVER ONCE have any of them laughed at my dreams "A.C." (After Cancer). In fact, early on in this, they banned together to encourage me to have some!

Don't think that this show of compassion and endearing love stops there.

Certainly my God and my own family are the epitome of love in my life... but they are not what this blog is about.

My love for them comes easy, naturally. Their love for me, the same. It doesn't deviate from the depth - in fact, I truly believe that it stretches into all kinds of new territories of true love in which you endure each other's pitfalls, insecurities, struggles, etc. and uphold each other through each wane.

I'm focusing on more distant love right now.

What does it take from us to show love? True, affectionate, compassionate love to those that go beyond our most personal bounds?!

Jesus walked this earth loving those whom he'd never met - whether or not the love was ever returned - and in many cases, where what was returned was scoffing, hatred and horrific acts of anger and spite.

But He still Loved.

I've always had a hard time with holidays, our nation and world setting aside a day to be nice, to focus on others. Maybe it's partially due to my upbringing and how my parents viewed most of the big, commercialized holidays, but maybe it's also due in part to where I'm at in life now.

I don't like the selfish spin that Valentine's Day sets us into - that we have to acknowledge our love for one another on THIS day - cause God forbid we do the same every other day, not knowing if tomorrow will even come.

I'm not trying to be cliche, so I apologize if it's coming off that way. I suppose the point I am desperate to make is this:

On Valentine's Day, when you name off who you love, if you feel so driven, stretch beyond your family and friends.

REACH OUT to someone who may not have someone. Or if you're so inclined and comfortable, share the ultimate love that was shown them to even be standing in front of you - God's love!

And as you sign off, remind them and yourself that the love and compassion that we should have for each other is anything but circumstantial or annual alone.

His isn't for you, so why should it be for others?

Hayley Ziebart is married with two sons. She is battling cancer. Read her Fridays on Douglas County Moms. Also check out her personal blog at lifesprom.blogspot.com.

Certainly my God and my own family are the epitome of love in my life... but they are not what this blog is about.

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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:34PM Published Feb 25, 2013 08:10AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.