“And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make…” – Paul McCartney
My favorite uncle died a few days ago.
Rational, objective description sometimes is inadequate to explain people. Any such description of my Uncle Carl would use terms such as hard-working, plain-spoken, no-nonsense, tough-minded, straight-ahead.
Such a guy would not seem to be one who would inspire an outpouring of love and affection from large numbers of people. But Uncle Carl did. His visitation was packed and went on well past its scheduled two hour period. His funeral, a rite held in the Friends (Quaker) church he attended (his decision to join the friends late in his life probably also seems anomalous given the above description) was a love fest of expressions of love and affection for a hard-working, plain-speaking, no-nonsense guy.
As I stood around at his visitation and sat in the church, I kept remembering two things. The first is a Bible verse, Ephesians 4:15. Here it is in the New International Version:
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
The other thing were the last two lines of the last (official) song on the last Beatles album:
And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make
My Uncle Carl gave me advice on a number of occasions. It wasn’t always the advice I wanted, but it was, in retrospect, always sound advice – and it was always given in love. If the crowds I encountered at his visitation and funeral mean anything, I think they mean that a lot of people found in him when they interacted with him those same characteristics.
So I guess what St. Paul and Sir Paul were trying to tell me as I said goodbye to someone I loved very much and will miss for the rest of my life was pretty much the same thing:
In the end, it’s the love….