What Is Love?

love

‘Grandpa, what is love?’

The question was posed by my granddaughter, Josie. She is eight and if there is a more lovely child on Planet Earth, I would like to know the kid’s name and geographic location.

Josie, whose christened name is Josephine, was so named by her mother, Rossana, whom I proudly named. I took the name of my then wife, Nana, and added Ross, my late mother-in-law and, as the French say, ‘Voila.’ I had created a masterpiece.

I looked at my granddaughter tenderly. She has brown hair, brown eyes, and the face of an angelic elf who is looking for trouble and usually finds it.

‘I’ll answer your question,’ I said. ‘But first, please tell me why you are asking it?’

She wrinkled her nose. That was a sure sign she was trying to answer me without telling the entire truth.

‘Well….a boy in class…kind of…well, he seems to think he loves me. So I just want to find out what is love.’

Dear God, I prayed, how do I answer this one?

Love is the most talked about, written about, sung about subject since the beginning of time.  Wars have been fought over it, kingdoms have toppled because of love and the most awful of crimes have been committed in its name.

As I pondered over how to respond to this child, I thought of the times I had been in love — or at least thought I was leaning in that direction. There was Kathy, my childhood sweetheart who, when I lost her to someone else, felt I could never forget her.

There was Bobbi, a brunette with flashing dark eyes. She looked like an actress, Talia. Her father was a coal miner and we spent many hours sharing banana splits at a Dairy Queen near Brownsville, PA where she lived. We went ice skating, shared the ‘love seats’ in the back row of the small movie theater in my home town. And we shared the kisses of young love that had no beginning and no ending.

And there was Nan, of course. Can’t forget Nan.  After all, I married her and we remained married 19 years before she decided properly that it was time to move on and discover who she was rather than let me continue to hog the journalist’s limelight I had managed to create for myself.

Finally I said, ‘Josie, I think love begins with trust.’ I was stumbling for words and I think she knew it. I tried to continue.

‘When you trust somebody and know they wouldn’t lie to you and hurt you in any way, that’s the start of love. You feel wonderful. Sometimes you think you are floating in the air. That’s part of being in love. But it’s also a lot more than that.’

Sophia Loren, the fabulous Italian actress who won international fame including an Academy Award for her performances, was married to Carlo Ponti for many years. Ponti directed her in a number of popular films and after he died in 2007 at the age of 95 — Sophia was 73 — a newspaper reporter ask her if she ever planned to marry again.

The actress said, ‘No, I don’t think so. I could never love anyone else.’

As I was racking my brain trying to come up with a better definition, Harrison, Josie’s seven-year-old brother, came to my rescue. He ran up behind her, grabbed her hand and said, ‘Let’s go outside. We’re playing a game and we need you.’

As Josie followed him to the door, I said, ‘Did I answer your question?’

Josie cocked her head and smiled. ‘You did okay, Grandpa,’ she said. ‘But I think you’ll do better next time.’

(photo courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda/ freedigitalphotos.net)

Geno Laurenzi Jr. About Geno Laurenzi Jr.

I grew up in coal mining country in Western Pennsylvania. My father was a coal miner and steel worker. I told stories to my two younger brothers and sisters as well as to the neighborhood kids from the time I was old enough to play baseball and chase the neighborhood girls.

I sold my first short story when I won a national fiction writing contest at age 16 and decided to become a newspaper reporter. I was 19 when I became sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News, a small daily newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M., the heart of ‘Billy the Kid Country.’

I have worked for dozens of newspapers in many parts of the United States and the Caribbean, including the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Phoenix Gazette. I served as Arizona Correspondent for both the Wall Street Journal and People Weekly Magazine for six years, and have written for everything from the pulp magazines — Argosy, True, Saga, etc. — to the tabloids like the Star and National Enquirer. I also have been published by the general lcirculatlion magazines — Life, Reader’s Digest, Western Horseman and quite a few more. I have been a ghostwriter and have published three books for other people, and recently completed my first novel, a Christian Western that is in the hands of my agent, Trish Beaty, who is headquartered in New York. I have interviewed many celebrities over the years, from Johnny Cash to Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Richard Nixon. Heck, I even spent six months covering the Charles Manson ‘Family’ murder trial in Los Angeles for the Herald-Examiner where I was a reporter for four glorious years.

Humor appeals to me because I like to make people smile. You can contact me at laurenzigeno@gmail.com.

Geno Laurenzi Jr. About Geno Laurenzi Jr.

I grew up in coal mining country in Western Pennsylvania. My father was a coal miner and steel worker. I told stories to my two younger brothers and sisters as well as to the neighborhood kids from the time I was old enough to play baseball and chase the neighborhood girls.

I sold my first short story when I won a national fiction writing contest at age 16 and decided to become a newspaper reporter. I was 19 when I became sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News, a small daily newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M., the heart of ‘Billy the Kid Country.’

I have worked for dozens of newspapers in many parts of the United States and the Caribbean, including the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Phoenix Gazette. I served as Arizona Correspondent for both the Wall Street Journal and People Weekly Magazine for six years, and have written for everything from the pulp magazines — Argosy, True, Saga, etc. — to the tabloids like the Star and National Enquirer. I also have been published by the general lcirculatlion magazines — Life, Reader’s Digest, Western Horseman and quite a few more. I have been a ghostwriter and have published three books for other people, and recently completed my first novel, a Christian Western that is in the hands of my agent, Trish Beaty, who is headquartered in New York. I have interviewed many celebrities over the years, from Johnny Cash to Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Richard Nixon. Heck, I even spent six months covering the Charles Manson ‘Family’ murder trial in Los Angeles for the Herald-Examiner where I was a reporter for four glorious years.

Humor appeals to me because I like to make people smile. You can contact me at laurenzigeno@gmail.com.

Smiles For All