“Love is a many splendored thing.” -William Shakespeare
Recently, I began dressing up more. I began having my friend Dirty D do my hair about every month to two months. People keep asking why I’m dressing up all of a sudden and I reply, “I’m trying to find a husband.” They laugh because they believe I’m joking. Truth is, I’m partially joking but at my age you have to start somewhere, right?
Anyway, I began thinking about the relationship between my mom and dad.
You see I was adopted so I’m speaking about them because my birth parents never married each other. If they did, I’m sorry to say the world would come to an end. My parents (adopted) have been married 27 years this past July. 27 years! That’s a lot of time. And they adopted me a little over twenty years ago – within that time, I never heard my mom say “I love you” to my dad or my dad saying it to my mom. I mean, I’m sure he has told her and she him. My mom always tells me to make sure a man loves me before I put down any roots with him. All I’m saying is I’ve never heard him say it.
Yet I know how my father feels for my mom and how my mom feels for him. They love each other immensely.
My father is a man of few words–well in his every day life. He’s a very educated, well read, well bred man. He’s is well spoken, versed in English, Spanish and conversational French. And yes, he tells me he loves me every day. When it comes to my mom, my father is protective. He worries about her, makes sure her car is running, makes sure she’s happy, that her birthday is perfect. He kisses her when he thinks we’re not looking, and though he never gushes over how fabulous she looks, whenever they’re going out and she walks down the stairs, his eyes lights up and he gets the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on a man’s face.
He cooks for her, run errands for her and never complains…
What I’m trying to say is in most families the mom says “I love you” to the dad and he to her. In the Jamaican family, we rarely say those words. We show it. When my father told he he loved me for the first time, I was shocked. For days, hell, weeks, I wandered around trying to figure out if he’d truly said it. I mean here was a man who didn’t have to take care of me but he was. He taught me things from biology, to Spanish and Literature and tried teaching me French. He bought me things, ensured I was fed, clothed, taken care of. And he loved me.
I guess the bottom line is, love is love. Even though it’s wonderful to hear the words, some people have problems saying them. Look for the kindness they show toward you, the beautiful things they give you and the little things they do that warms your heart. Do they hug you until you feel as if your head would pop from your body? Do they hold your hands when you fell down the stairs and bruise your tailbone? Do they bring you tea when you have cramps akin to labour contractions?
You see, anyone can say “I love you.” Those words are so easily tossed around that I find lately, most people have no idea what they mean. But it’s the little things–the tea, the hand holding, the kisses to the forehead, the hugs that warms your heart–those are the signs of real, true love.