Though I didn't know it,I had love in my life from the moment I first gasped for air. It was a gift given to me by a family who loved me.
I felt love more as I grew, knowing that my Mom and Dad were the entire makeup of my joy in life. I remember thinking of the prospect of losing them and feeling so scared I had to hide under the covers (a trick I still use today when that horrible thought comes stealing).
As I grew, love expanded. I felt love for friendly cats I found on walks. I felt love for the red sun on my skin. I felt love for the little Caterpillar I studied as he crawled over my fingers, trying to get wherever he needed to go that day. I felt love for a new type of family. Though it took a lot of getting used to, I realized I had many more people to love in my life. I cherished true love for friends.I fell in love with time wasted with a buddy. With secret societies formed in the middle of the hollow bush in the backyard.
Eventually, I reached an age where I experienced real romantic love. I basked in the glow of a young courtship, exciting kisses, sticky fumbling and heated, frenzied encounters. Pretending we'd be together forever. I fell in deep love. I fell in strong love. The gift of mutual growth, milestone after milestone, year after year, only adding to our story…
I lost that love. I experienced the heartache of a broken union. I felt so hurt. I felt so devastated.I felt consumed with grief. I mourned, cherished memories. I had to burn those memories from my tortured mind and eventually, I felt like me again.
I still have the love of friends. I still have love for a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I still have love for the letters my Mee Maw would send me. I have love for my first crummy old car,which allowed me to escape at will. I still have the sheer joy in the love received from the neighbor’s dog pawing at the door to greet me. I still have love for the smell of my Dad's pancakes on Sundays. And now, later in life and with accompanying “maturity”, romantic love comes again. Love has always been present. No matter my relationship status. Love is inherent to your being. Romantic Love, Family Love, unconditional love, lost love, new love, old love, difficult love…it’s all yours for the taking. And if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love is actually all around you.
(And to you…Thanks forbeing mine xoxo)