“There’s such unnecessary sorrow
In love unspoken.”
I woke up today thinking about mortality.
And the precious time we waste getting this love thing all wrong.
K’s cancer diagnosis and upcoming surgery has given rise to much emotional thinking. Prevalent now, are thoughts of wasted moments ticked by in silence. A silence that should have been filled with love. Love that could have created harmony. Peacefulness. And a beautiful knowing that reaches far beyond the breadth of a relationship. Even beyond the breath of life.
I thought about Khalid.
And how often we said “I love you” to eachother. And to be honest, I don’t remember us being super mushy and full of syrup. We laughed a lot. We loved a lot. We had one of those quiet, deep and passionate loves. The kind that fortifies no matter how stormy the weather. But we didn’t actually say “I love you” a lot. We didn’t have to. It was completely understood. I think… I hope. But we should have. I should have. Every. Single. Day. He meant the world to me. He made me happy. And he gave me his heart so selflessly. So effortlessly. He was Unconditional Love. Personified. I should have been tripping over the words. Shouting it from the roof tops. Daily. But I didn’t. I was too angry. And too scared. His illness terrified me. The tumor in his brain a constant reminder that I was going to lose him. That cancer was killing him. Slowly. Stealing his love from me. And that for every truly happy moment we shared, weeks were being taken away. And though I loved him so intensely, I didn’t tell him I loved him like I was gonna lose him. I left too much silence in the spaces between his seizures, his surgeries and his death. It was only in the darkness of my grieving that I wailed it to the heavens. Often. In desperate hope that he would finally, really hear me. And I am content, in the end, that he did.
And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.
Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if I had just said the words. More.
And then I thought about P.
We rarely said “I love you” to each other. Not nearly enough for the passion we shared. The obsession. The constant craving. Not nearly enough for the great love I felt. For her. Fear of how easily and carelessly she would hurt me, stopped me. Afraid to expose my heart. I became…careful. Not always saying the words when they wanted so badly to be said. Perhaps, that was my mistake. Hers was not knowing how. Instead, we became ensnared in filling our precious moments with accusations, mistrust and one-up-manship. You hurt me. I hurt you back. So busy proving ourselves right not to trust in the vulnerability of love. We missed the sweetness in the knowing we were already so deep in it. And wasted 5 years engaged in a pointless war. One that would never have started if we’d just been less wounded. Less afraid. Braver. Kinder. And had just said the words we both so desperately needed to hear. Every. Single. Day. Showing and telling eachother just how deeply we loved. Because the sad truth is, we really, truly did. Stalemate offers no comfort.
And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.
Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if we had just said the words. More.
And now there’s K.
Sweet, loving and loveable K. Who wears her heart emblazoned like the S in the Superman logo. Who knows no fear in love. Who walks into the raging inferno of that uncertainty, vulnerable and with open arms. Never knowing if she’ll be loved back. Or if kryptonite will take her down. Standing strong in the conviction of her belief in Love’s power. I am in awe. And I am blessed. She is that elusive Unconditional Love. Personified. And she tells me she loves me. Every. Single. Day.
I was uncomfortable with all her sweet talk. Her random blurts of love half a dozen times a day. Her “Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe”-ness. Her genuine kindness and giving. The things she did and still does…just to see me happy? Hmm. I haven’t had that kind of love in almost 23 years. Almost half a lifetime. It feels alien now. Unfamiliar. Untrustworthy. What’s the catch? I have reasons not to trust expressions of love. They’ve proven false countless times. Love lies hurt. A lot. And I have never trusted love spoken too soon either. I mean who says “I love you” – and means it – just weeks into a relationship?! Liars and manipulators, that’s who.
And maybe lesbians 😉
But how can those quick, hurried proclamations be trusted? Love is HUGE! Real love, that is. The kind of love that lasts. That’s deep and knowing. That remains steady when the flames have cooled and the love story is not always perfect. It’s not something to be bandied about. Traded back and forth like hockey cards. Or toaster ovens. Or declared in the heat of passion. Or used against someone to move them against their nature…
Love is powerful. Love is gentle. Love is beautiful. And Love is kind. And even though K still says “I Love You” far more then I am completely comfortable with, I get it. There is power in repetition.
This repetition has gained my trust. Encouraged bravery.
This repetition has instilled security. Given haven.
This repetition has proven reliability. Allowed hope.
This repetition has introduced a quiet consistency. A strength. A bond. For moments like this. When the love story isn’t perfect…
Lightbulb moment? Ya…kinda.
I really didn’t know all this was happening while I was dodging K’s love bullets. But I see it now. And I understand the truth in just how important saying the words really is. I have spent a lifetime mistrusting love because the promise of it, and eventual withholding of it, has been far too painful to endure. But I have wanted love. Wanted to be loved. Perhaps more then most. Done “things” in the hope of it. Have compromised myself more then I care to admit because of it. And eventually I learned that it is far easier to scorn it. Belittle it. Challenge it at every turn. Then to give in to the hope and dream of it. And the acceptance that maybe, just maybe, this time might be IT. It’s a difficult, lonely and unnecessarily sad path to follow. And I don’t recommend it.
My daughter once told me that LOVE doesn’t hurt; people hurt. She is right. Love doesn’t hurt. It’s a wonderfully warm and glowing hug that fills you up with the most incredible and fulfilling light. And if you are lucky enough to feel its amazing power, always ALWAYS try and give it back. No matter what. Love deserves that. Don’t compare it. Don’t analyze it. Don’t abuse it. Embrace it. It truly is what life is all about.
And if you feel it. And it scares you. And you want to run as far away from it as you possibly can. DON’T.
Even if you feel like it’s too late to say it. That it doesn’t matter. That it has no power. No value. That nothing will change. DO IT ANYHOW.
Say the words.
I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU
Every. Single. Day.
And repeat them. Over and over and over.
So much more then you realize.
Don’t wait to make it known. From an unbreachable distance.
And have days. Like today. Where you can’t help but wonder how different your time together would have been if you had just said the words. More.