July 16, 2010: Love has many definitions, by Christi Guzlow

What is love? Is it an ice cream bar in the middle of summer? Or the ocean breeze blowing through someone’s hair while he is walking along the shore?

Although the definition differs from person to person, I think that many will agree that love is the deep expression of our feelings toward another person. There are various divisions of love, such as the love of a mother towards her child, the love between a husband and wife, and the love between siblings. But in the end, it all boils down to the same thing: Love is love.

Love is a funny thing, because it happens when least expected. People can find love anywhere — at the store, on the bus, at school, or even at the pool. It all depends on being at the right place at the right time.

Personally, love’s first sign for me was the butterflies. Everyone has had them at some point or another; the warm fuzzy feeling that occurs in the stomach when you meet that special someone. A little over a year ago I got those fluttering butterflies when I met my fiance, Daniel Steele.

After 365 days, our love for each other is still going strong and we added a dog, Caelon, to our family. By no means is love easy, though; it comes with a lot of listening and compromising. In our relationship we had to learn that we are two people rather than one and had to adjust ways we did things in order to make both of us happy, rather than one over the other. For example, in the morning Daniel is hard to wake up, so instead of being angry when he doesn’t become conscious, I make him a cup of coffee. After he is coherent he makes me an English muffin to show he appreciated the coffee. Love is very complex and sometimes causes heartache, but we are still going steady and cannot wait until we get done with college and can make additions to our family.

In my 19 years of existence, I have not witnessed greater love and appreciation than that between my father, Joe, and my stepmother, Becky. Their love is unconditional and still strong after being together for 13 years.

Their love story seems like a fairy-tale when I reminisce on it.

Becky, who lived in Salina, was friends with my dad’s older sister Juanita. One night, when my dad was still married to my mother, Juanita introduced Becky to my dad at a country club. He said, “Hi, nice to meet you,” and walked away. Becky was instantly hooked but soon discovered Joe was married, and she asked, “Why are all the good-looking men always taken?”

But not long after this first meeting, and as the result of unrelated marital issues, my parents divorced. Becky ran into him again and they hit it off right away. Although my father drives a semi truck and is hardly ever at home, they compromise by talking on the phone everyday while he is away. The distance is hard on them, but their bond is very strong. They are a prime example of how love can be sacrificing.

In the end, love has many definitions — beautiful, complex, funny, sacrificing and compassionate. Now it’s your turn: What is your definition of love?

— Christi Gulzow is 2009 graduate of Salina South High School. She is currently a sophomore music major at Cloud County Community College where she is a member of the Great Society, the North Central Kansas Community Band and the Rolling Thunder Pep Band.

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