My mom has always been able to show love without any expectation of anything in return. Not only has she always been generous with her time, energy, money, and hugs, but she used to pack my lunch and put notes and stickers in it, write me notes in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, give me little presents that she knew I'd like, drive me to dance classes, horseback riding, cheerleading, acting, gymnastics, softball, soccer, summer camp or whatever else I wanted to try. She served me food only for me to complain about it. She would wait with me for the school bus so I didn't have to wait alone and then she'd run back inside right before it came. I pulled her out of bed in the middle of the night, more than once, to cry about how stupid boys were while she herself was fighting melanoma and my dad lay sick in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant. Even though I’m certain she was exhausted, she hugged me and patiently let me cry into her chest as I’d done as a small child and for that moment I was a normal teenager and she was a normal mom and I forgot that death was always leering at my family, just around the next corner.
I could go on and on listing the generosities of my mom and perhaps I should, but the point of this post was supposed to be to say that I wish I were more like her.
I want to love like that. I want to write notes, to give hugs, to unabashedly tell someone how absolutely gorgeous I truly think they are without any sort of expectation of those things in return. I want to play, be silly, ceremonial, and dramatic without expectations of others to join in, unless of course they want to.
Then, of course, I feel that old choking sensation. Just at the base of my throat below my voicebox, beyond that lump.
Emotions get stuck. I get stuck. I gulp all of that down into my chest, where it presses against my ribcage for days and weeks and months. And years.
I wonder why my chest hurts, why my tummy hurts.
I used to write poetry. Looking back on one part of one poem in particular I think it is perhaps about the release of this very thing I dream about being able to do. Here is that poem. I still think it is one of my favorites...
in my naval, golden and bubbling
that sparkles up to my throat where it rests, corked and quiet
Every kiss, a sip
Is it luscious on your lips?
Does it tingle on your tongue?
Pop! the cork
The world is thirsty