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Thursday, February 13, 2014

“Where there is love there is life”

Yesterday Nate was reading and there was a giant ad for Tiffany & Co. Of course I asked if the computer was showing him that ad because he had just bought me something from Tiffany for Valentine’s Day, to which he replied, “Oh yeah, I bought you tons of presents for a made-up holiday.” And then we both totally laughed. Yeah, we’re romantic like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating Valentine’s Day with our kids and I honestly don’t have anything against Valentine’s Day per se. In fact, any excuse to make pretty cookies and give them to friends and neighbors is fine by me.

free printable gandhi quote from @janemaynard

Valentine’s Day aside, I have been thinking a lot about love lately, for many reasons that I won’t get into. You know the Beatles song All You Need is Love? That line has become cliché by now, but I really do think all you need is love. I can’t help but imagine how different the world would be if everyone loved first. Now, I know life isn’t always that simple. But I can’t help but think if we did love first that we’d all be kinder, more patient, more giving, more forgiving. At least I know I would be. Sometimes it’s not easy to love, but that’s what makes it all the more powerful. Nate and I teach the 16- and 17-year-olds at our church each Sunday. There is a lot to think about in this life, especially when you’re becoming an adult and navigating those often choppy waters. But I am surprised how often, when I am teaching them, it all comes back to loving others and serving without judgment. It’s so simple and yet one of life’s greatest challenges.

Nate’s Gram Maynard lived a life of love. We all knew she was amazing and most certainly the kindest person we had ever known. She knew what it was to love unconditionally and was a great example to me. When she died, we were all heartbroken. The world needed Gram. At her funeral there was time set aside for anyone who wanted to speak to do so. It was beautiful (and not at all surprising) to hear stories from people we didn’t know, sharing how Gram had served them and touched their lives in profound ways. We knew that she had loved. We knew she had served. We just didn’t know how much.

gram maynard | love | @janemaynard

I recently saw this quote from Mahatma Gandhi somewhere and it really resonated with me: Where there is love there is life. When I think of Gram, a pure example of love, I can’t help but think of the full life she lived. A quiet life, filled with quiet acts of love. Her life was unremarkable by the world’s lofty standards. She was from the South Shore near Boston and lived there her entire life. She raised five children. She stood by the Red Sox through thick and thin. She had the most marvelous accent, once telling Nate’s mom she could find the fox in the dishwasher (10 points if you can figure that one out). She hardly ever cooked, but when she did it was always for others – I don’t know how many tins of her chocolate chip cookies were carried by postal workers nationwide. I don’t even think she ever flew on a plane. And yet, her love filled so much more of the world than just the South Shore. Her love made ripples that have been felt far and wide. She filled the world with life by simply loving. She was more remarkable than anyone could probably comprehend.

Like I said, lots on my mind lately. But I keep clinging to this word: love. I need to let it fill me the way it did Gram. I need to let it spill over.

If you click here or on the quote at the beginning of this post, you can download a pretty pdf of the Gandhi’s quote. Happy Valentine’s Day!


  1. 1
    Kim M.

    This is a such a beautiful tribute to Gram. I miss her all the time. At times it can be so lonely in this big house without her. I am so lucky to have lived with her for 16 years, gaining wisdom, raising my children and learning how important unconditional love is. She was such a gift to me and the best mother-in-law ever!

    • Jane Maynard

      I’m so glad you like the post, kim. and you were one lucky person to get to live with that lady.

      we still miss her all the time, too…oh gram, we love you.

  2. What a great post Jane! I agree that love is such a wonderful wonderful thing that live has to offer us and can be many things to many people and knowing such a woman as you did will give you a guide for life I am sure.

  3. What a beautiful post. What a beautiful soul. I love this, and I completely agree… all you need is love.

  4. 4
    Kay Gee

    That would be the forks in the dishwasha lol

    • Jane Maynard

      you got it! 10 points! it makes us laugh EVERY TIME we talk about it. pat (my mother-in-law) grew up in new england and couldn’t figure out what she was saying for the first few tries. it was awesome. 🙂

  5. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right now. Love IS all you need. And cookies.

  6. 6

    I believe your husband’s grandmother was referring to the four pronged metal implement used to eat with :o) Proud Massachusetts woman right here … regardless of where she was from, she sounds like an absolutely lovely woman who through the simple act of caring, touched a lot of people in a special way. Have to say, she looks a lot like my grandmother who I am very blessed to still have physically present in my life, also from the South Shore :0)

    Love IS all you need…cookies/other baked goods don’t hurt either. Much love to you and your family!

  7. She sounds like an amazing woman…and she left the greatest legacy anyone could leave…the legacy of love. Both in your feelings for her, and in the love you pass on to your children.

    I’m feeling a little misty eyed now. My beloved grampa, who has the most wonderful servant’s heart than anyone could ever aspire to, and radiates love and joy wherever he goes, is battling advanced cancer. I’m trying to enjoy the days with him without panicking too much about the days we’ll eventually have without him 🙁

  8. Thank you for sharing this. It brought a tear to my eye and filled my heart with love. Love puts everything into perspective 🙂

  9. 9
    laura in San Diego

    Forks! Those pics made me well up..nothing sweeter than baby pics with a doting Gramma.

  10. 10

    wow what a lovely post. this is exactly how i felt about my grandpa. unremarkable by some standards in that he wasnt famous, didnt cure cancer, etc. BUT he was the world’s best grandpa and did so much for some many people in such a simple way. i think of him constantly which is a trubute to his silent presence in my life. he taught me so many lessons without saying a word which is so important to me now. i LOVE how you use the word ripples. Thats what i feel like he was. nothing overt or pushy but ripples of wisdom through the years touching many different people. what a great way to think about it !

  11. 11
    Nikki CB

    Beautiful. Got me teary-eyed.

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