I Am Here Right Now, See Me Before I’m Gone

Dear keeper of my heart,

What if you woke one morning to find there was no toilet paper on the roll?

What if you jumped out of the ice cold shower, teeth brushed with only the bottom of an empty tube, and couldn’t find a clean towel anywhere?

What if on the way out the door, there was no milk left in the carton, no cereal in the box, or creamer in the fridge. The same socks from last week still sitting on the pile waiting its turn for the wash. The garbage cans outside overfilled and forgotten. The dog’s bowl empty and the car out of gas.

What happens when today was the day you really needed that one more time morning kiss goodbye? That quick, pick me up midday call to talk about nothing, as long as it was something to take your mind off the work ahead. The extra long hug from the little face after reading the same story for the one hundredth time? What if today was the day you looked for it, and realized it wasn’t there?

Every small second spent laboring in love, is a second worth noticing.

What happens when the love has left? When its too late to bring back because you’ve forgotten which second you were chasing? The one in front of you, the one behind you? What happens to the seconds in between? The one you find yourself in when you are staring at the faces of the ones you love, but as if frozen, or preoccupied with the chase,  make no move to show them they are truly the loved, and not those elusive and emotionless seconds that will never give you anything back.

Love is harmed not in the big moments, but defeated in the small ones.  Yet it is in those same small spaces where love grows.

Forget the grand gestures; acknowledge the creamer. Appreciate the socks. Take the extra second to listen when they talk, and really talk when its needed. Take a second to re-read the same book, to play the same game, to find the lost toy. Notice the laugh lines that have changed his eyes. See the way she looks at you. Look at the note he left for the tooth fairy, read it and really see how his handwriting has changed so much in a year.  Feel the way her face falls when you don’t see her bursting to show you something she made.

Love needs more than greeting cards and automatic words of expectation. Love needs more than obligation and most of the times. Love needs small gestures. Thousands of tiny fractions of effort, to be really seen and really felt. Love doesn’t wait for too long, it’s greedy and impatient. When love is overlooked in those small seconds of every day, it finds a way to let you know, by one day, just not showing up. You might feel like you blinked, and it’s gone.

What if today was the day you woke up and saw the small seconds? Each one stacked on top of the other to make a life? Would you see the love still there? See that love is in the clean sheets, the trips to the store, the hours of overtime, the hard nights up with tears and tummy aches. Love is in the harsh words that lead you back to understanding, the silent stares over dinner when you don’t, the grumpy faces, the long mornings. The tired nights. Love is there when you engage it. Love is try, its not perfect every time and love is not a mystery. When love feels you’ve long forgotten the try, it shies away. Don’t let it leave without saying goodbye. Love has a way of slipping quietly out the back door. In those small seconds, when you are busy chasing the bigger moment, hour, day, lifetime; it steals away.

A love note from love, itself.