Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to say "I love you"

I'm trying to keep it up.  I really am.  But I haven't been myself for the past couple weeks.  The weekend before spring break, my mom called me to tell me that my grandma was very sick in the hospital, and I should come home immediately, because she probably wasn't going to make it.  I went home and am very glad I did, because I was able to talk to her and tell her I loved her one last time.  A week later, she passed away.  All I can really say is that I'm really going to miss her.

It's cliche to say that life is short, we should tell our loved ones that we love them before we lose them.  True, but still cliche.

Besides - sometimes the words themselves aren't what matter.  I'm not talking about the five love languages, though that's all very interesting.  I'm talking about the feelings of being appreciated and cared for.  Sometimes, this is what we mean when we tell our friends that we love them: we appreciate having them in our life, and we care about them.  We all want to feel appreciated and cared for, so we should make sure to let people know that we care for them, that we appreciate them.

How do we do this?  Different people, I'm sure, feel appreciated in different ways.  My mom, for instance, likes when people notice that she's vacuumed.  I've started to notice that I feel valued when people like my cooking - something that drives me to cook for more and more people whenever I can.  It's a strange habit, but I've found that if I'm in need of some extra love, I can whip up a batch of banana muffins and pass them out to friends (who love them).

And caring for people?  I've found that the best way to show people you care about them is to ask them how they're doing, and actually listen to their answer.  Not "how are you?" because that's a common greeting and usually doesn't want an honest response.  But take the extra time and vocal effort to stick the word "doing" onto the end of that sentence, and it denotes a willingness to actually listen to a response, however good or bad that response may be.

One of my professors has been checking in on me since I asked her for a couple extensions due to being home and generally being unable to focus.  Even if I don't want to talk, I can tell you it's one of the most amazing feelings to have someone who really doesn't need to care actually want to know how you're doing.

Hm... I guess this didn't turn out nearly as good as I meant it, but it feels good to start writing again.  I have a few things I've been meaning to say, but I'll save them for the next few runs.  In the meantime, I have some homework to get over with so I can spend time with one of my best friends, who flew down from Seattle to hang out with me for a few days.  :)