Thursday, February 14, 2013
On Love + Heartbreak
Love is a risk. It's true. On a day when the syrup-y, saccharine clichés of "love" abound, I realize I may sound a bit like the Valentine's Day Grinch. Don't get me wrong. Love is a worthy risk - the most worthy risk. It is the risk of putting all of yourself - the good, the bad and the oh-so-ugly - out there to be accepted or rejected. But the power in being seen for who you are and loved, flaws and all? Yep. That's what makes it worth it. In fact, it is the kind of thing that can change you forever.
The thing is, opening up to love also means opening up to heartache. Because life happens. Jobs are lost, diagnoses are given and then you have to choose to walk through that sorrow together with the one you love. It is always a choice, but that choosing makes life richer and more meaningful, even when it is hard. And you get to celebrate the beautiful moments together, too, and they are made all the more beautiful for the contrast. Kind of like salty and sweet. You taste each one more distinctly for the presence of the other.
I confess that I had a much cheerier post planned for this Valentine's Day. Not quite saccharine sweet, but filled with ideas on how to write a real, old fashioned love letter to your love, your family, your friends. I wanted to share this beautiful book with you with inspiration on how to make love last as inspired by a couple who were married for 73 years.
But I learned this past weekend that my Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and is being moved into a retirement home with shocking speed. I've been reeling ever since in secret chaos and heartbreak. I can't actually begin to describe all that has gone on in my heart and my head, but I can tell you that I need to dive into my Mum's care plan wholeheartedly for the next while. I'm going to take a brief pause from posting while I try to sort out how to help her make this transition safely and happily.
I think this is what love looks like. It means putting your life on hold when the one you love needs you most. It means grieving when they grieve and rejoicing when they rejoice. It means standing up for them when they are vulnerable and celebrating their wins when they are strong. And so, I'm off to love my Mum now. And I have no doubt I will return to our conversation about finding inspiration in design, food, beauty and everyday life with a greater ability to taste the sweetness in it.
With salty-sweet love,