February 14th, 2009, I was flat out on my back. A combination of an acute attack from an old chronic condition and a new infection of malaria. So I had these hormones going wild in ways that were not enjoyable at all, water retention, nerve pain, migraine, dizziness, nausea, fluctuating blood pressure, you name it and I could not tell whether it was the Malaria or the Myaligia.
It was a really bad time, and the perfect time for me to sort of reflect on a few things. When I came in to work this morning, I got a few notes that reminded me of some of the things I was thinking of during the weekend.
“Hope you had a great Valentines, if you believe in it.” came a note from a friend all the way in Mombasa.
“I don’t believe in Valentines Day, but I do believe in Love.” I responded. He sent me back a smiley shock. I won’t even try to insult your intelligence by dredging up the history of St. Valentine (2 of them, plus the 9 others who were matyred), and Cupid, and all the other things I have issues with. I won’t even try to convince you that I would rather have a thousand days of simple meals, hugs, kisses, respect, and trust over one day of a pretty card, expensive gifts and a fancy meal. So I’ll just tell you about my idea of love.
Love is the mother who does not agree with me 100% of the time, but who understands that I have a path to follow, and choices to make for myself, and does not impose her choices on me, even though she gave birth to me, and raised me, on her own mostly.
Love is the friend who will tell me straight out that I am wrong when I am wrong, but will stand by me to the ends of the earth if anyone else tries to attack me.
Love is the friend who calls me from a thousand miles away to see how I am even though he himself has been through a ghoulish day.
Love is Daddy, when he buys lunch for the kids at the centre, because he knows this weekend I am broke and sick, and won’t be at the centre, and it is killing me.
Love is Grandpa John, looking after Grandma Peris during the days when she was really sick, even though he himself was quite old at the time, love is the memories he cherishes of her now, when she is gone.
Love is the grandchild, the great grandchild who spares the time to share that great big kettle of milky tea and listen to him talk about 1945 and 1973 all at the same time, as if they were one year. Because that’s all he want now, someone to talk to.
Love, love is the kitty who waits for me at the wall of the gate every single night until I get home, and then greets me as if I am the best thing that happened to her all day.
Sometimes, love is the flutter of hope in my tummy every time I think there might be something more about that man, but love proves itself best under time, and fire, with roses and diamonds, or with cactus and sand, with the jade blue glow of the beautiful ocean, or against the dry heat and sun of a drought thrashed land.
Love is… infatuation, sex, passion, desire, sometimes it is. But love is… truth not perfection, integrity not honesty, loyalty not faithfulness, justice not fairness, trust not belief, patience not endurance. Love is a superlative, if you think you are doing enough, you need to do much more.
Love is a way of life, every day, every week, every month, every year, not just a day of love once a year. You might chose one day to celebrate it, that is your choice to make. My choice, is to be outrageously loving to the people who matter to me every single day.
© Juliet Maruru 2009 www.jmaruru.wordpress.com