Ask me how to love, because it’s something I know how to do. I used to think it’s something everyone knows how to do, but it’s not. Loving takes commitment and practice. It takes listening, not just hearing the words but feeling what they really mean. Ask me about loving my long-departed parents who were dangerously inept and unkind and often mean. Loving means knowing they were doing what they knew, how their lives never prepared them for loving. How loving is a sacrifice not ownership.
Ask me how loving a man so purely and truly, that long after his death he’s as real and as important as ever. How his love sustains me and strengthens me and nurtures me all these years after he’s gone.
Ask me about loving children through all of the ages of their lives. The joys of infancy where I was learning to care for other humans, to be committed to having these beings become the best they want to be. How loving them as adults is immeasurably extraordinary.
Ask me how it feels to have your children know how to love and multiply that love exponentially.
Ask me how to love grandchildren so that they want to be with you and that spending time with grandma is still something special. Ask me about loving a grandson who struggles with loving himself, knowing that this too will pass.
Ask me about loving myself, with all my flaws. How by being loved and learning how to love makes all of this worthwhile.
And ask me about loving friends and those who come into our lives for a second, how one interaction can make my heart swell with the joy of knowing something new. And ask me about loving strangers, when I don’t even know the burdens they carry.
Ask me, because I know.