06 November 2015
How do you say I Love You?
So John Tesh must have been having the same conversation as me this week because he just posted this picture on his Facebook! (And no I don't follow him online but the girlfriend with whom I was having this conversation does and sent me the link.)
I know that I am a very outwardly lovey person and people in my life have come to accept that. After 9/11 I have the worst travel anxiety and so say I Love You whenever I say goodbye. Anyone who has taken a trip with me knows that I don't care who is sharing a bed with me, I'm going to cuddle you! My bestie Mary has suffered many a night with me snuggled up beside her! I will tell you when you are in my heart. But that said, as much as I tend to show my love for others, I have a hard time receiving loud displays of love back. I don't want you to shout I Love You from the rooftops - I want you to quietly whisper it in my ear. I don't want a giant diamond ring, I'd cherish a nice simple band. I don't like big public displays of affection - just hold my hand or put yours on the small of my back. I am great at taking care of others but when it comes to me, I tend to just retreat and work through it on my own. I have a tendency to either feed you or make you laugh and to be honest usually a bit of both.
Someone in my life buries their mother today. Eight years ago today it was Chelsea's Dad. Seven years ago today it was Jessica's mom. Tomorrow will already be three weeks since Dad passed. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this is real life; that in our thirties we are burying parents. I know we all grieve in our own way but I am comforted knowing I can ask if it's ok to feel the way that I do. My text to Jessica earlier this week was pretty much "Am I a heartless bitch or can I really feel this at peace with things?" Her reply was simply "You can feel anyway you want. I love you." I'm learning that it's important to recognize that we each love or even grieve things differently. There should be no judgement in either.
So back to John Tesh and I seeing eye to eye.... I actually had this same conversation with a couple of people in the last week or so which I find interesting. I think it's important to recognize that we all emote or care in different ways. Knowing this is an integral part of relationships because as we do get older and more set in our ways, the way we love is essentially going to be pretty set. In finding a new partner or even as we make new friends, we have to be open to learning how they emote. I first learned this lesson from my maternal grandmother and it was something I said in her eulogy. She wasn't your traditional lovey grandma. She was tough and she didn't say I love you. I can probably tell you two times that I actually remember her saying those actual words to me but never in my life did I doubt that she loved me fiercely. My Nana said "I Love You" in with the words "Did you eat?" and she said "I miss You" when she complained about you skipping a day visiting. This was not always easy for my mom and her siblings to see.
So maybe this is today's lesson - let's try to look at things with an open mind and an open heart. Recognize all the little things that show when someone cares. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to see when people are speaking from their heart - our words just aren't always the same.