Just before my dad died, after a long and happy life, and a short illness after a day of visits from his four children, their partners, and his grandchildren in his hospital room before his final two days in the ICU freed of all machines he said aloud amidst the tangle of tubes and needles that were holding him in place, “I feel so loved.”
He was loved. He, an intelligent, practical, joyful, passionate, idealist, gave a lifetime of perfectly imperfect love, and he received it back.
That, I find, is the secret to everything: the loving and being loved wherever one finds it the seeing of life, with all of its light and dark, with a joyful, grateful eye.
Happy love to you, whatever it means to you, whatever form it takes for you, today and every day.
My house host, who expected me to be as temporary a guest as I intended to be, got the personal tornado of me instead. He has been generous and supportive in response. This morning he gave me a card from @bisonbookbinding in Bellingham, Washington where my dad was born, and where my Duwamish grandfather owned a tailor shop, circa 1915, in the Holly-Bay-Prospect Building. It’s a beautiful, serendipitous card.
For me, love begins with self love. For that reason, one of my favorite poems is Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love”. If you’d like to read about that poem, and then read the poem itself, here’s a link to it on Maria Popova’s blog Brain Pickings. https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/21/love-after-love-derek-walcott/