The famous Christan author Leo Buscaglia once said, “Love is life, and if you miss love, you miss life.” I think it would also be appropriate to add that in the midst of life, you might very well miss expressions of love. We tend to expect love, and signs of love to fit into tiny metaphorical packages, wrapped in fancy ribbons of comments and gestures we cannot possibly misinterpret. This simply isn’t so, because life doesn’t often leave much time for the wrapping of such gifts.
Instead, we need to understand the dimensionality Edgar Allan Poe set forth saying, “We loved with a love that was more than love.” There is an aged question of whether or not love is enough, and sometimes I think we are asking the wrong thing. It’s not that love isn’t enough, it’s that some of us fail to recognize love when it takes another form.
I know in my own life, both my recognition and personal expressions of love have certainly widened. So just in case you were curious, (and even if you are not) I’ll give you a crash-course list of how to identify love in the crazy-busy, bustling days we live through.
Recent ways I’ve said, “I love you:”
*Dipping my finger into Gram’s coffee to remove the two small fruit flys that landed there
*Holding my son’s spit-slick retainer while he plays soccer
*Pretending not to hear my family fart so they won’t be embarrassed
*Snuggling my oldest kitty even after he expelled his most recent hairball on my bed, causing yet ANOTHER load of laundry
*Calling my daddy to talk about nothing, which we both know, means everything
*Deciding to hand-make Christmas cards with my sister and calling her to discuss paper colors
*Driving two hours to watch my one-year-old nephew smash his baby fists into his first cake
Recent ways others have told me they love me:
*My best friend calling me to cry because she knew she could
*My son choosing family time over a soccer game when I actually gave him the choice
*Having my mom call me instead of going to bed like she was planning
*My cousin continuing to play phone tag with me instead of giving up on me and my ridiculous schedule
*Hearing my students moan in protest when I told them they’d be having a substitute
*Seeing my daughter hold back her complaints and tears as I yanked through her snarly hair
*Feeling the weight of my ninety-three pound Burnese Mountain Dog on my back when I tried to relax on our outdoor lounge chairs
*Seeing the “likes” attached to my posts as my readers digitally do life with me through this blog
So “I love you,” might look a little different than it used to; but it feels the same – warm as a kiss of sunshine, true as a pinky-promise, and lasting as a memory made precious by the ones who gave it to you.