Monday, April 7, 2014

Do You Love Me?

Do you love me? I often wonder what the ulterior motive is when this question is asked. Is it a selfish question from a needy and insecure person meant to put a significant other on the spot? Is it a need for affirmation in a world that is often unkind, cold and distant? Should it even be asked? Yes, I love you even when I hate you, even when I am at my wit's end and no longer want to be around you. Compassionate people cannot help but love. Sometimes, the compassion is torn from us when we are very young and we are unable to get it back. Sometimes we are born without it. Sometimes our pre-conceived notions and personal trips prevent us from compassion.
Many years ago I used to substitute teach and would often find myself in a small Resource Room in an elementary school working with special needs kids. It was difficult work and the kids were hyper and I was bored, finding the task of keeping them under control mundane and stressful. One little black girl named Christine took a liking to me and would worm and wiggle around me and try to play in my hair and practically sat in my lap if I let her, telling me I was pretty and that she loved me. Christine grew up, her emotional problems following and I would see her walking the mean city streets, often times alone or sometimes with others. A few years back she came into a shop I had rented space from, her clothes tight on a swollen body and her thick hair dyed blond. I asked if she remembered me. She beamed over the fact that I still knew her name, her smile exposing a lack of several teeth and said that she did. She told me she had several children, though I had never seen her with one. When I asked where they were, she said they had been taken from her. I sold her two beautiful glass necklaces at half price and watched her walk out the door and I wanted to call out "do you still love me?" But I didn't. Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? On this 7th day of April, 2014, may we all be blessed with love.

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