Saturday, July 5, 2014

What Love Is

When I was little my mom used to tell me that I wore my heart on my sleeve. Quick to fall in love, easily hurt and if I loved you, you knew it; if I hated you the disdain dripped off me like sweat. When I fell in love with your father, though, at 18, it was different. It was gradual. He wasn’t my usual type of person – he was good. We got married and did all the things you’re supposed to do, we fought about money, cleaning, and whose turn it was to take out the garbage. We were spontaneous and carefree. We worked and saved and slowly became each others world as we found 'friends & family' in each other. When we had babies I began to understand love in a different way. Love had always been temporary. Something I was doing in this moment and subject to change. But, having kids changes you. I began to understand it was deeper, timeless, and unconditional. And my love for your Dad grew into that kind of love then, too, as I watched him care for you and love you with that same timeless love I now understood. We did the things you’re supposed to do, we fought about money, sex, and whose turn it was to change the poopey diaper. We also evolved into an unstoppable force and conquered everything. We made plans for the future and talked about distant milestones.
When he got sick we faced it head-on with that timeless understanding that we could overcome anything, together. When he got sicker still we did all the things you’re supposed to do. We didn’t fight anymore. We talked about God, and the past, and words that lovers whisper in a moment like that. And I sat there, day after day, night after night. I watched cancer steal everything I loved piece by piece. And I was there in that room the moments that were his last. I did all the things you’re supposed to do. I held his hand and told him it was okay, that we would be okay. But, it wasn’t ok. I watched him until the very last second. The very last breathe. I didn’t look away. There’s a lyric in song that says, “Love is Watching Someone Die”, and I think that is exactly what it is. Being there, even then, and not looking away. (Death Cab for Cutie, "What Sarah Said")
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