In the words of legend and my first love George Michael…“It’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate” (Praying for Time).
George knew what he was talking about. These days it feels like the focus is on hate and we’ve forgotten about love. I only have to look on social media to see people hating on each other for having a different opinion and for not agreeing with their point of view. Surely in this day in age, we should be able to listen to a variety of views even if we don’t agree. I do think you can have conversations or heated debates with family and friends about life and times without it getting abusive. Life would be boring everyone agreed with each other. Different opinions is what makes life interesting and makes a good argument…I mean a good debate.
The point is that I love my family and I love my friends, it is inevitable that at some point we will disagree on things. I would like to believe our relationship is strong enough withstand a disagreement. In our house, we equally love and argue passionately.
My sister tells me I’m so Hollywood when it comes to love. I’m an optimist and I believe in love, not just romantic love, but love that exists in family, in friendship, in our relationships with colleagues and acquaintances, in acts of kindness from strangers. I really do believe love can save the day…Ok maybe my sister is right.
As I’ve got older and especially through times when shit has hit the fan, I’ve realised what love means to me. I’ve never appreciated in more during 2011 and 2013 or as I like to call them the crap years. The short version is I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, my family house caught fire and was then burgled, I caught a skin infection after my operation to remove my brain tumour and had to have another round of brain surgery and stint in hospital, I was diagnosed with another brain tumour in another part of brain and my mother had cancer. We all survived and it was love and a sense of humour that got us through it.
Personally those years changed my life. It made me realise how lucky I am, that I am loved and when all else fails, laugh because things really could be worst.
Love for me is my family and my other half taking care of me when I couldn’t, combing my hair, helping me shower and get dressed, making me food and bringing me food in hospital every night, ignoring my post-operative bitch moods and being patient with me especially when I wasn’t patient with myself. It’s taking me to my MRI appointments and being there for me when I have my “I’ve got a brain tumour” freak out. It’s when they make me dinner (I love it when I am cooked for) and it’s the way they make me laugh out loud like nobody else. It’s in the kisses and cuddles, it’s when they randomly say I love you.
Love is my friends that didn’t walk away and give up on me, that check in on me when I haven’t been as great at doing the same. It’s the friends that don’t hate me when I cancel plans and still invite me out, the friends that have covered me when I’ve been broke. It’s all friends that have driven on a night out and looked after me when I’m worst for wear. They might have taken photos but they didn’t share them on social media…well, not that I know of.
It’s when my colleagues and acquaintances have been generous with their time or have helped me when they really don’t have to and without wanting anything back in return, the unexpected gifts and acts of thoughtfulness which makes me feel loved. This always warms my heart because I don’t expect it and because they don’t have to do it.
The kindness and generosity of strangers also makes me glow with love. I’ve had a lady give me a pound for the bus fare when I was caught on the bus with no cash and no money on my oyster card. Then there’s the people that I don’t know that have sponsored me for charity walks or have surprised me by letting me jump the queue or have said lovely things.
It’s the little things, the kind things that make me believe in love and in the goodness of people. It reminds that we each have the power to make another person, whoever they are, feel the same way too and that it’s never too late to share the love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!