You asked me what we were, what love is or means to me. But we know. We know that love has different meanings don’t we? You loved me, said it often enough. But why, why was I not feeling loved by you or anyone if ever.
I had to delve into the sea of memories, draw out moments, those where I could pinpoint love. The most recent is Jo calling up to check on me. She calls to hear about my day, says she misses me and how she would love to have me near. Jo makes me feel loved. In fact I acknowledge she does. So I can’t say ever, can I? My baby loves me deeply and sorrowfully for she knows she is growing and can’t bask in my love as she used to as a child. That makes her cherish me the more. I love when she comes home and asks that she lays on my lap or be held like a baby again. Nearness matters to her. Touch does too, as do affirmations and gifts. The fact she seeks me makes me feel loved.
And my mama, she loves me with sadness and regret. How, you would ask? She regrets the fact my life has turned into hers. She knows the loneliness therein, never having anyone to depend on, doing it alone. She knows that too much which saddens her. She loves it daily, especially now as a retiree, in a beautiful home with no one to share it with, just waiting on time gifted by her kids and grandkids. You’d think having been alone for over four decades, she would have gotten used to it by now. We never do, do we? Man isn’t meant to be alone. After a while the silence weighs on you, no matter what else you have filling the space. It pierces through. Mama loves me in the way she wants to protect me, spare me the loneliness. She does so softly, often cushioning the blows of life, tenderly. I often pray that the good Lord takes me first for if I were to lose her too what would become of me! Mama is my lifeline.
Somewhere in the synapses of matter and time, I reckon you mean it when you say you love me. I used to call people liars when they’d say they love me but I couldn’t feel loved. But I learned, it is offensive to negate someone’s feelings, insulting even. I take those words, as gifts from those who make themselves vulnerable to me. I cherish their hearts, the room they’ve opened to place me there. In doing so, I guess I cherish them too, you.
Most of my friends are men. In fact, they all are really and two of them I cherish for even if once they showed me their heart too. I respect their opinion, their ethics. They always come through for me. I don’t ask and when I do ask, they are always there. I recall one where he came during his vacation to fix things around my house I had just bought. He is handy, knew I’d have to pay someone for certain things he could handle. Without asking, he just cam, tool belt on and handled things. So I would say, acts of service is my love language from anyone.
I am the wife of one and none. He loved me. This, I can say why or how. Not that the man was perfect. Dear God, no one is no matter how highly we may think of ourselves! He loved in the early years, when we first met. Marriage change that. Why do people change the things they used to do or how they were after marriage! Maybe it will last longer if we just kept on beholding our beloved the way we did when courting. He made me feel I mattered. Il était attentioné. He put me first once upon a time.
Out of the well of sorrows, love shined through. Love to me is putting me first, being there, showing it to me, protecting me, being there for me, making the world appear kinder, nicer, more livable. If your love doesn’t come through in every act and words along these lines, I won’t be able to see it. So ask yourself, ask what have you done to be there for me, soften the blows of life, or put me first in words or actions? I can’t ask nor won’t ever tell anyone how to love me.
You either do in these ways or don’t.