So, I still haven’t begun editing my second draft of Waking Dreams. I am finally through with a course of antibiotics for the nasty sinus infection I’ve been battling, but the fact that I am up writing due to a coughing fit, well, that means I may need to go for another round. Oh well! Who needs sleep anyway?
And since sweet sleep is elusive, I thought I would write about something else – love. I am incredibly lucky in this department. For whatever else we lacked in my home growing up (t.v., toys, gadgets, or most nifty things that “money” could buy), my mom poured love on us. I knew what it felt like to have someone wrap their arms around me when I was sick, who would stand up for me if she thought I was being treated unfairly, and I experienced the duality of the safety and ferocity of a mother’s love. It makes me so sad that so many out there have never experienced that love.
Then there are my siblings – my God, I am lucky there, too. I have three of the most amazing siblings I could ever have asked for. My older sister has always been a constant encouragement, allowing me to feed my dreams. Oh, the dreams we dreamed! And continue to dream. My younger brother is one of the most solid guys I know – he always speaks his mind and wears his heart on his sleeve. And since he lives with me, he endures a lot of older sister abuse. (ie: “Hey, D? Can you hold the baby for a sec? PSYCH! She’s got a load in her shorts!” *older sister runs away* This is somewhat similar to the age old “Hey, want the last bite of the Snickers bar? Psych! It’s just the wrapper! mwa-ha-ha-ha!” *runs away leaving younger brother to throw away the candy bar wrapper*) Seriously, though, my bro? He’s also one heck of a baby sitter. My youngest sister is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet, and is now expecting her second little one. She has a lot of love to give, and I am so lucky to have her and that she put up with all my cruddy “The Green Hand” stories growing up (Don’t ask about this story! Just know, everyone dies in all variants. I think my older sis told it to me, or I just adapted and readapted it from the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” short stories. I was a sick kid.). I could go on and on about each one of my siblings, but know this – mess with my siblings, and it is on. We may annoy the heck out of each other on occasion, but, well, that’s family. I wouldn’t change anything about a single member of my family.
I am lucky in love in yet another way. I found the love of my life when I was only 16 years old. Now, almost 16 years later, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. It’s more than a little amazing. He’s as funny, silly, loving, thoughtful, handsome, and snuggly as ever. It’s funny to think that so many people don’t really see the real Nick – they see someone who always has a crude joke ready for any occasion, but don’t see the man in the background, quietly supporting his friends, family and wife. Someone who convinced his mentally ill soon to be mother-in-law that she needed to go to her daughter’s wedding, in spite of the awkwardness. Who later stood up to her when she kept attempting to break into our house, because she was convinced we were trying to poison her. He screened those ugly phone messages, so I wouldn’t have to hear the hate in my mother’s voice. In spite of everything, he still treated my mother with compassion and respect, knowing how important it was to me that he not define my mother by her illness. Later, as she was on hospice, my mom fell and he picked her up (a woman slightly taller than him, and heavier, even though the chemo and cancer made her look stick thin) and laid her so gently down in bed, I would never have guessed that there had ever been a tumultuous history there. The look of love and tenderness on his face – that memory still makes me cry. If he had known I was watching, I am not sure I would have actually been able to glimpse that… I am so happy he has grown into the man he is, and that I got watch him as he grew. One thing, if you are growing up with your spouse, you learn that you do need to give them a lot of room to grow. I am not the same girl (thank god! Dear emo Raven, you can stay tucked back in the past, thank you), and he’s not the same boy. I am so thankful that the wonderful boy I started dating all those years ago grew into this wonderful man and father to our little girl.
There have been so many people over the years who said variants of “Puppy love? That will never last.” Well, it has. And it’s awesome. I know people think they are helping by trying to nay-say, prepare the youth for heartbreak, etc, but you’re not. You’re spreading your negativity and telling youth that because your love didn’t last, theirs shouldn’t. Listening to the radio this morning, I heard the radio personality say that some celebrity should “Get a room” for saying cutesy things to their boyfriend in a public forum. This always has annoyed me. Nick and I heard it all the time in High School (we did receive the distinction of “Most Public Displays of Affection” so I may be prone to bias. Maybe.). I wonder about that – people think showing love is somehow something that should be hidden away. It’s okay for people to kiss on TV or a movie screen, but heaven forbid they do it on a sidewalk! *gasp* Society somehow has the right to squelch others from holding hands, hugging, or kissing in public for “decency” or “respectability”. Why? Are we afraid of the intimacy? Why does it offend us that someone else is comfortable enough to do this in public, that we feel it’s necessary to shout or otherwise deride them?
Personally, I think it’s fu*&ed up that it’s more acceptable to spew hate and ridicule than it is to spread love. That we (and I think this is human beings, not just Americans) find it easier to mock people than to see the good in them and what they are doing. Perhaps this is just the Hippie Rambler talking. But really? Next time, you see a couple kissing, with that doe-eyed look in their eyes when they look at each other? And you want to say “It won’t last”, “That feeling will fade”, or the all time classic “Get a room”, ask yourself this: Who the fu*& are you to tell anyone anything about what they feel and how they show it? Back off and let them rejoice that they found love. Love is precious, and yes, it can be fleeting. You never know when it will be gone or, God forbid, taken away from you.