We are so much more capable of love than we think. How do I know this? I have felt it, I have witnessed the deepest love from nursing. I watched people on their death bed. The look of a new mom when she meets her baby for the first time. It is endless, the levels our heart will go if we just give it permission.
I officiate weddings, and I see a different love. The tomorrows that the couple see beyond the person standing before them holding their hands. The first house they will buy. The first christmas as Mr. and Mrs. The first time a positive sign pops into the little window that comes directly from our bladder. It is all there. The future. Bright and shiny as a newly minted bar of gold. I really enjoy doing those services. I feel like I am a part of history of sorts. No, not like a big celebrity weddings, that many of us question the validity of the promises made.
No, these are two people who are not known outside of their personal friends and family. But on that day, they are the most beautiful. They exude happiness and hope. Dreams of how everything will be perfect from that day on. Perhaps, it is that innocence that I like so much. They don’t need to know the statistics of making it to a year, to five years. The promises broken, though the indiscretions “really didn’t mean a thing.” No, they will discover the ugliness that life has waiting on the dark side of the moon themselves.
The affection of and for our parents. It matters not if they are living. They are forgiven of all we felt when we were wronged. We must forgive ourselves in this process. Our parents did. As we watch the gentle transition of the temples starting to grey, until their entire hair is white as snow. A “medal” that pronounces that they have seen, they have lived. There have been great disappointments, grief when they buried those close to them. They still smile, with laugh lines that have turned gentle and soft. Mixed into those folds are just a sliver of hurt that is only noticeable by the ones who love them the most. Those who know the sacrifices, the financial attempts to save, to solve, to make it like it was “before.” Yet deep into the eyes that hide behind a filmy cataract, they have a knowing look. They don’t announce the tears, or recite publicly their good night prayers. Those pleas to God tell stories with the grace of Tolstoy, or Hemingway.
Life turns us all into poets, artists, great writers documenting the journey we have traveled. That endearment does not end on the day we bury them. In fact, it has a way of growing into something Herculean. The very people who we hid so much of ourselves, we would do anything to have a few minutes to tell all that is in our heart, things that have been there forever, pride keeping it from being said. Those regrets never go away. Never.
And then there is the love of as parents. At the risk of being chastised for this, we had a family bed. There was the financial aspect, meaning we hadn’t the money to get everybody his own bed. We waited for them to get out of the newborn stage, then in the bed they came. I think my desire for this was because of how often I had to travel. I would leave many times before the sun woke up, and long after they were well into their dreams. Visions of happiness, cotton candy, driving.
If they weren’t in our bed, there would have been days I would not have seen them. I don’t have one feeling that I got that one wrong. To watch them sleep, the way they would twitch making me wonder what they were doing in the deep of their slumber. I would rub the moist hair away from their forehead. Memorize the shape of their perfect lips. Want to know what heaven is? A baby laughing in his sleep. That is the sole moment you are given the gift of knowing you aren’t doing so badly. Happy children giggle in their sleep. A mother’s love isn’t perfect, but it is pretty damn close.
If we are truly lucky, there is the miracle of falling in love for the second time. Maybe we are alone because of a death, a divorce, it matters not. This weekend, I went to lunch with my dad and his lady friend. It was sweet. They held hands, he would lean over and whisper something in her ear. Of course, when she returned the gesture, he would have to yell “what?” I laughed inside. Though, they won the couple in love! I wanted to stand on a chair and yell “That’s my Pop! Look how adorable he is!” I didn’t because I didn’t want to get arrested, Kate would frown on this. I wouldn’t be feeling the love there. That is fact!
Our hearts are like a fruit with many different levels we peel away as we get more comfortable. Before you realize it, everything that doesn’t matter has been dispersed of, thrown away in the “disposable” pile, leaving only the core of who we really are. When this happens, look around. Those standing by you, with you, those are the people who love you. Just the way you are. These people deserve all you have to give. There is always room for more love. We were built that way. Because without love, we are dead.
Hope your day is magical! Tell the people you love, just how much you do. The gift will be yours, I promise. Let’s talk tomorrow. I will bring the coffee. Ruth