Keep You and Love You or …? (Five Minute Friday: STUCK)

Do you have those traditional sayings, those to and fro set conversations that only your family uses and fully understands, comforting in their familiarity? We had quite a few growing up, often reassurances of our love for each other.

One of them was for when someone had done something foolish or mildly exasperating. I can still hear my dad’s voice as he smilingly asked:

“What are we going to do with you? Keep you and love you? Or chuck you in the dustbin?”

“Don’t chuck me in the dustbin!” I would plead.

Then might follow a light hearted debate about how practical it was to put me in the dustbin – how full it was, whether I would fit, etc.

But the exchange always ended with:

“I think we’d better keep you and love you,” and maybe, “I guess we’re stuck with you,” followed by a long cuddle.

To a stranger, this might sound an uncaring exchange but it was always reassuring for me because I knew the ultimate outcome. We might go through just the essentials of the ritual or we might tease it out at some length. But I was always sure of the end result and I knew the message of this family saying was that I would always be loved no matter what I did or what happened in my life. As I got older, we would turn it round, with me or my brother or even my children telling my parents that we would always ‘keep them and love them’.

I think of the word ‘stuck’ most automatically as a negative – to be stuck with something or someone because it/they have been forced on us; that we have no escape, no choice about it. But one of the other Five Minute Friday bloggers reminded me this week that we could use the word ‘placed’ instead https://traciecollier.com/2018/04/26/stuck-in-the-middle/. Similarly  the lyrics of the song ‘My Guy’ have been circulating inside my head:

‘Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy,
(My guy)
Nothing you could do ’cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy.
(My guy)
I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter,
Like birds of a feather we stick together,
I’m tellin’ you from the start I can’t be torn apart from my guy.’

For a long time, I didn’t understand that analogy: ‘a stamp to a leather’ (weird pictures of postage stamps on a belt came to mind!). Of course, now I realise that it refers to a design embossed into the leather, a permanent mark that cannot be removed. Embossing isn’t something that ‘just happens’; it’s the result of a definite decision, a deliberate action. And when someone chooses to love us, and love us long term, they become a permanent mark on our lives, that remains long after they are gone. Their words, their actions, their values become woven into our lives forever.

When it comes to people, ‘stuck’ is something we choose. Keeping and loving someone is a choice, a daily choice, sometimes a moment by moment choice. Love is a verb not an adjective, a deliberate action.

I’m glad that when people look at me, they will see the permanent mark of my parents’ love embossed on my life. I pray that my husband and children will know the same security and faith in the permanence of my love for them. And I hope that all of us will know, whatever happens, that our Father God will never throw us in the dustbin but always keep us and love us.

(Five Minute Friday is a community of bloggers who, once  a week,  write on a given word for 5 minutes flat. You can find more offerings on this week’s theme here: http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/04/26/fmf-link-up-stuck/)

 

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4 thoughts on “Keep You and Love You or …? (Five Minute Friday: STUCK)

  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean about those funny, loving exchanges that no one but our family would really understand! Our son is 15 and autistic, and we say to him something very similar to your example, like “What are we going to do with you? Sell you to the highest bidder?” or “Return to sender?” The funniest thing is, sometimes when we say “What are we going to do with you?” our son will say “BACK TO BED!” to which we say “OK we’ll go back to bed then, great idea!” 🙂

    I think the song words are “a stamp to a letter,” right? which is how you’ve quoted it: sticking a stamp on a letter to mail it. But the embossed leather example is really good too: it’s like where the Bible says God engraves us on the palm of his hand. So we are permanently part of HIM just as He is of us. Beautiful.

    Jeannie (#65 in this week’s linkup)

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  2. I like your blog – yep stuff does matter – and really enjoyed your five minutes writing. Since I saw the prompt word this week Ive had the song Happy to be Stuck with You by Huey Lewis in my head. While I didn’t write about it in that way I thought as well that “stuck” doesn’t always have to be a negative. I describe some of my friendships by saying “we just stuck” and the very best of friends are the ones that have “stuck” by you. A really good post – thank you ! Linked up not far from you at FMF

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  3. Pingback: Most Read Post of 2018 is…? | thestufflifeismadeofblog

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