What Does Love Look Like?


We celebrate Valentine’s Day this month- the holiday of love! When you think of someone showing love, what comes to your mind first? Many people probably think of being shown affection or having someone give them a gift. And some people do show love in this manner. But not everyone shows it like that, and there are so many different ways to show someone you care that are even better. 

Like a lot of others out there, 2020 was not easy for my family. We very much looked forward to 2021, hopeful that things would get better. They didn’t. In fact, things got significantly worse. The first month of the year actually proved to be even more awful for us than all of 2020 combined. Basically, January was a hot dumpster fire in our world.  

Our family rallied together, because that’s what families do. We worked hard to try to make dealing with the challenges a little easier. But sometimes it just seems like it’s all too much to handle. When life throws punches at you, that’s when the real definition of love can be seen. 

So what does love really look like? 

For my family, it looked like the unwavering support from friends, neighbors, and coworkers. It was the sweetest messages sent to us through social media, email, or text messages. People dropped off food or sent gift cards for restaurants so we didn’t have to worry about cooking. We received countless cards of sympathy and positive messages to help us get through the toughest times. There were small gifts sent to help us remember a loved one who had passed away. Hugs were given (safely), even during a pandemic, because love is stronger than any virus. The unending phone calls and voicemail messages of those sharing encouragement, or offering to help in any way needed, even if it just meant listening, were priceless. Funny pictures, memes, or inside jokes were sent to distract us. There were shoulders to cry on when things got really sad. Slideshows were created to focus on the happy times and we were tagged on social media in memories from years ago. Friends came over to the house to hang out and keep our minds off things or help us talk about our feelings. Advice was given from those that had been in our situation before. Sometimes simply receiving a compliment could brighten the days, especially when it felt like life was falling apart.  

Love can be shown in a million different ways. 

People want to step in and help those who are struggling to feel better. Each person shows their love in unique ways, and each person feels love in their own special way too. If you know someone’s love language, this can be extra helpful…. And if you don’t know what love languages are – look it up. It’s very interesting to learn about for both yourself and others!  So if someone you know has had a crappy 2020 or a difficult 2021 so far, think about what will bring a smile to their face and do something to make them feel better…if only for a few moments. Anticipating someone’s needs is a great way to show you care.  And this month of love is the perfect time!

My family cannot thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love we’ve been shown recently.  From heart to heart talks at random hours of the day or night, to all of the things listed above, and so much more. We are beyond grateful for the support of our tribe, our community, our people. We all need to stick together, that’s the only way to get through everything. 

Love looks like a thousand different things, and they all help during the darkest hours.  Love can conquer all!

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Nichelle grew up in Michigan, Connecticut, and Hawaii, but has called Florida her home since 1993. She met her husband, Minh, while graduating from Lynn University in Boca Raton, where he owns his own Marble & Tile installation company. They have two daughters that are the light of their lives and also keep them on their toes, Tristynn (age 10), and Harleigh (age 7). Nichelle teaches 5th grade Language Arts, which goes right along with her passion for Reading. When she’s not caught up in a great book, she enjoys going out on her boat with family and friends, taking self-defense classes, doing arts & crafts (Yay, Pinterest!), and taking naps. Nichelle has written 4 fictional books for (and about) her daughters, through a program for her elementary students, and is very excited to be writing for Palm Beach Mom Collective. She works hard to find the balance between work and home life and wants other moms to know that they aren’t alone in trying to create that sense of balance in their lives.