So, my friends. We always think, when we hear the word love, of romantic love. And don’t get me wrong, romantic love is a wonderful thing if it is part of your life. But it is wrong thinking to think that romantic love is what should always be top of mind when you think of “love”.
My cats love me, in their own peculiar way. They need to be close a lot of the time when I am home because I often am not. They groom me and bring me various live and half-eaten prey to show how much they love me. Dogs, fortunately, do not bring prey but theirs is a most unconditional form of love. They do not care what you do or when, they just love you. Cats are a little pickier but always come around.
And religion, ritual, spiritual practices tell me that G-d loves me. The best version of any of these tells me that my concept of a G-d should be loving and caring and not punitive despite some of the biblical allegories that might drive you to believe otherwise. I choose to believe that if there is a power greater than myself, it is caring; that the universe means me no harm. Bad things happen, they are part of life not the vengeful creations of a punishing G-d.
Despite my own insecurities and self-doubt, I know today that my friends love me. Now there are the women. They are the friends whose love is wrapped in sympathy, empathy and hard truth. They are the friends that fill my house with laughter when we play cards and whose paths, in many cases, parallel my own. They are the friends that understand what my life is like at the present time and that is a priceless gift. Then there are the men. I have learned that it is indeed possible to have really stalwart and steady male friends without the need for tension, chemistry or romance. They have brought me meals, listened to me rant about the shortcomings of certain other men in my life. They show up to fix things or reach things I can’t. They refer me to services I need as a single homeowner. They have my back all the time and don’t laugh at me as much as the women do. They are the friends that just show up and care whether they understand or not. And men and women alike, I love them back.
And there is my son, with whom I am friends. He is the friend that showed up every day to clean the pool and take out my trash when I couldn’t. He is the friend that knows me inside out and doesn’t take any bullshit answers. He is the friend that thinks I should have romantic love in my life. He is the friend that shares his fears and understands mine. We have come to this wonderful adult place. And of course, he is my baby and I love him more than I will ever love anyone!
So, romantic love – it would be nice. But I have, as you can see, lots of love in my life; and it is good.