Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Learning about Love


My daughter, Alexis, writes  on her blog today, about taking her first pregnancy test. Now, I must clarify, I am not a grandmother and have not been pestering my daughters about making me one. I leave that decision and the timing of it, or not, completely up to them. But, when I read the first line of her blog, my little mind quickly jumped to that place of “What! Really? Oh my! I’m going to be a….” Only to have whatever excitement, hope, anticipation that had arisen dashed when she said there was no second blue line.

And then, I read the last two paragraphs of her post.

What I do know is that if a second blue line had appeared, I would be doing everything in my power to nourish and protect the life inside me now. I would be eating clean and eating well. I’d be sleeping lots and fostering my happiness.

So maybe the lesson here (aside from the fact that I need to get my hypochondria checked out) is that the person I am giving birth to is myself. And if I’m going to come out healthy and happy and strong, it is time I began nourishing my body and feeding my soul.

I gave birth to this brilliance? I gave birth to this young woman who sees so deeply into our human angst, who is so fearless in her capacity to be vulnerable, open and real about not only her recovery from an eating disorder, but also her struggle to be vulnerable, open and real in life.


Twenty-seven and twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to my two amazing daughters I had no idea that they would become my greatest teachers. I had no clue that to become a mother meant having to allow my children to teach me what it means to ‘trust in love’ and to be vulnerable, open and real.

Sure, in the haze of newborn love and the days of sleepless nights, it feels at first as if it’s about changing diapers, mid-night feedings and trying to scrape a few moments together to wash your face or even sneak a nap. And yes, there are the countless firsts to treasure. First smiles, steps, words, pictures drawn and stories told. There are the first days of school, sleep-overs, ears pierced and dating. There are the first times they drove, the first pair of high heels, stockings, first days of high school, first time their heart was broken, the first time they broke a heart and the first time they swore they’d never love again.

But more than all the firsts and all the sleepless nights spent worrying about where they are, or how they’re doing, or what will they do, or not do, there are the lessons learned. The teachings embraced. The moments that simply take my breath away because they are so amazing, incredible, wise and beautiful and absolutely right.

Last night, my youngest daughter and I had our weekly dinner together. We sat and chatted and laughed and shared stories and talked about life and love and being real. “Thank you for always leaping at the opportunity to have dinner together,” I told her.  And she smiled and replied, “I love our dinners together.”

And my heart melted and I was reminded, again, how blessed and precious each moment is that I can spend with these two young women who have taught me so much about loving, living and letting go.

My eldest daughter lives in Vancouver now. We don’t get as much time together and I miss just being able to go for coffee, or a walk, or sit over a leisurely meal to chat and share. My youngest daughter is planning a year abroad to take her Masters. Next fall, she’ll be gone, and who knows where she’ll end up. “I might meet a nice Scottish boy and never come back to Canada,” she jokingly told me last night. (She knows how to push my buttons that young one! 🙂 )

But again, I am reminded of one of the greatest lessons in Love my daughters have taught me. My job as their mother isn’t to hold them close, it’s to watch them and celebrate them and cheer them on as they fly free.

Love doesn’t need physical presence to grow. It already is. Everywhere. What I need to know its essence is an open heart. Love doesn’t need a new car, or pretty dress or sparkly jewellery, it simply requires space to grow wild and passionate. It needs space to expand into and around and under and over. And in my heart is all the space love needs to know that no matter where my daughters are in the world, they are always at home in my heart.

Now, about those grandchildren….  🙂



Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

11 thoughts on “Learning about Love

  1. LG,
    Being a grandfather for 14 months, and recalling the feelings that flowed when I was told ‘we are expecting’ produced feelings I was never expecting. As has playing with my granddaughter, as does anticipating #2 who is expected next Feb.

    What is profound, aside from all the virtues you extol proudly of your daughter is another message contained within her. At least it is a message for me.

    What if I was nurturing new life inside me? I know, middle-aged male, not likely . . .

    But, what if?

    My cross to carry …. is that combo of lifestyle/eating habits/exercise which I excuse myself from so easiy with the next piece of tasty bread, ice cream, pie, pasta …. and the worst of all, the 2nd helping. And the 3rd.

    What if it was critical I be healthy to nurture a baby inside me? The answer is obvious.

    So, why not nurture the soon-to-be 62 year old as if it was a new-born on the way?

    Tell you daughter thank you from me.




  2. It simply needs a place to grow wild…am loving the word wild! 🙂


  3. Lovely!! As I noted on Alexis’ blog, I really admire her courage in sharing, and I truly admire your courage in reaching to the depths of your heath and putting those words out there. Also, you made me miss my mom! Distance is hard and I would give a lot to have weekly dinners with her!!! Happy Friday Louise : )


  4. Yes, the distance thing is really hard. I moved interstate in my twenties so have lived apart from my family. Now my own children are gradually scattering. It is not the way I would have chosen things to be. I would have preferred more contact. Yes still my love is constant and deep.
    ‘Home in my heart’ is what I constantly think and breathe and drink always.


  5. You know how much my family means to me and how much I love being a grandmother………….


  6. Louise, I would share this post on Facebook, but I fear my daughters would take it the wrong way. (They haven’t given us grandchildren, either.) It speaks so beautifully to how I feel about them, though. And I know they would smile and nod at the lines, “Love doesn’t need physical presence to grow. It already is. Everywhere.”


  7. Hello friend,    I just wanted to let you know that I so enjoyed this post.  For some reason,  your blog is not allowing my comments but I just had to write and tell you how very much these words meant to my heart…..soaking in them right now. I wrote a long comment,  just in case it would let me leave you my thanks on the blog.  Again it didn’t.  I’m sorry I cant splash across your space just how much I treasured these words you so beautifully wrote.  Big thanks to you and your daughter for this brilliant muchness:) -Jennifer



  8. Beautiful post Louise! We can learn so much from anyone, but especially our children. I don’t think so come to realize that until we stop fearing for how things will turn out.


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