A couple weeks ago, my mother and I drove my grandmother to a radiation treatment – the second to last. Her spirits were high, and she was saucy as ever despite being trapped in a body waging war against her. As we drove, she brought up a conversation with a relative who called her frequently over the course of her cancer treatment, but hadn’t visited her at all. It had been 5 weeks. Gran told us her synopsis of their most recent conversation.
What she said: You can tell me you love me all you want over the phone, but it’d be nice to see your face once in awhile.
What I heard: Love expressed as a statement doesn’t always cut it. Tell me you love me all you want, ’till you’re blue in the face, but remember that it’s an action word. I can hear you, but if I can’t feel your love, well...
Love isn’t safe. It’s easy to say “I love you” over the phone, through a text message or email, when we’re not face to face. Why do we do this? Is it fear? There’s no room for fear in the love I know. Love stands before you, open, raw, accepting, speaking it’s truth and asking nothing in return. It’s the only thing I know that can simultaneously steal your breath and bring you life.
Love cannot be quantified, measured, or reasoned with. There’s no escape plan. You don’t get to pull an emergency cord or shatter the glass on a fire extinguisher when it gets to be “too much.” And that’s why it’s scary. It’s exhilarating-scary, and I fully believe it’s what we were brought here to do. When a person lashes out in anger, jealousy, greed, or hatred, it’s love that got warped somehow. They’re trying, too. In fact, they probably deserve more compassion than our easily slighted egos want to grant them.
Love doesn’t need to be justified. How often to we find ourselves on the brink of a relationship, or at a fork in the road, trying to explain why we love a certain person, why we should be with the one but not the other. Love doesn’t recognize risk analysis or pros vs. cons. I’ve found myself trying to explain why my affections occur the way they have – why do I need to understand it? Some things just are.
Love doesn’t have to be dramatic or tragic. It’s messy, but that doesn’t mean Troy must burn. It can be simple and unassuming.
It can be a man and a woman in the dusk of their lives, the man stooping to kiss the woman goodnight while three generations of their family gather downstairs. As he moves her water closer and shuts off the lamp on the night stand, she grabs his hand – knowing her sickness has made her impatient with him, knowing her love has been difficult but unwavering – as she croaks, “Look at what we’ve built.”
Submitted to ArtParasites by Kassandra