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I know it is a trite phrase – unconditional love. So easy to throw into a conversation and everyone’s head nods to say they agree with how important it is.

But I think sometimes we do not realize just how much our family and friends depend on that unconditional love.

I think everyone, at least most of us, has days or times when we doubt our self-worth. Family stresses, job stresses, worry about the future can sneak in and undermine our feeling of being worthy of love.

I have been somewhat on the fringe of my daughter’s life these last 20 years, but my love for her has never wavered. Even during the darkest times when I felt my X had so wedged her hate between my daughter and me that we went far too long without communicating or seeing one another, I never stopped loving my daughter.

During those 20 years, my daughter has matured, married a wonderful person, grown in so many ways and now become a mother to a beautiful girl. Along the way, she has grown her professional life and is the primary “breadwinner” in her family. I know that my son-in-law stepped up and became the primary caregiver to my granddaughter, something that many men are reluctant to do. He grew into a great father and my daughter into a great mother. And I know that the situation that developed has put stressors on both my daughter and son-in-law as well as my granddaughter. But they do what they have to do, and I do not doubt their love for each other.

I still stand at the fringe, looking in as much as I can from 500 miles away.

I wish my own situation were such that I could lavish money on them and make it possible for them to not have financial pressures impinging on the way they live. But that is not to be.

So, all I can do is to try to communicate my unconditional love for them all. No matter what happens. No matter if changes occur which upend their lives due to things beyond their control. No matter if the changes come because they must initiate them to move toward new goals and be who they need to be, as I had to do 20 years ago.

I love them all unconditionally. My daughter, my son-in-law, my granddaughter. They are all intricately woven into my being. No matter what happens, I will love them unconditionally until my last breath.

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