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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

What is Love?

Yesterday, while driving to the grocery store, a car passed me with a Christmas tree atop its roof. I was wearing a t-shirt, capris and flip flops – it was 73 degrees. I hope that it will be cooler when we get our tree the first week of December. It seems weird to be thinking holidays when it’s this warm – yet here we are. At the grocery store, everyone else is dressed like it’s fall which, according to the calendar it is but the thermometer seems to say otherwise. Long sleeves, jeans, and definitely not flip flops. How are they not all sweating?

Here we are – on the brink of our first pandemic holiday season. Once again, grocery store shelves have been emptied of paper products. It’s as if we learned nothing in the spring. I actually learned that people are crazy so over the summer I stocked up on toilet paper made by blind people. I forget what brand this is but I ordered it through Office Depot or the like. The box proudly proclaims the blind people crafted it. I bet they’re very busy this year.

The CDC has been telling people to forgo getting together for the holidays. Zoom announced they are removing their limits on calls. I file this away for when I'm convinced that humanity is just awful. Andrea, my mom and I are both responsible and pragmatic. At 78, it’s a fact that my mom has more Thanksgivings behind her than she has ahead of her. I haven’t seen her in a year and have wondered, more than once, if we’d all live through 2020 to see one another again. Or if my mom would live to see a new President voted into office. A few weeks ago, in my coaching class, we had to write about what love is and share it with the class – both aloud and in the Zoom chat. Here’s what I wrote at that time….

From 3 - Maggie Smith to Everyone: 09:34 AM

Love is when your person wakes you up from MA – knowing you’ve overslept.

Love is the feeling of home and harbor. Of safety. You can fall into it. It’s an oasis from the world.

Love is letting someone see you – fully see you. The flaws. All of you.

Love is trusting – enough to ask for help. Loving yourself enough to ask for help.

Love is homemade pancakes.

Love is being able to ask that poor, special someone, “What’s this little bump I feel by my butt?”

Love is someone holding space for you and you for them. Love is football Sunday’s – even if you don’t like football.

This week, I’d add to the list that love is when your spouse drives 12-hours to Illinois and 12-hours back to pick your 78 year old mom up so she can spend one more Thanksgiving with you, your amazing spouse and your menagerie of pets. Love is when your spouse goes to Best Buy to buy a cable for your mom’s computer and returns with a new TV for her so your mom can actually see the darn thing as opposed to the small screen in the large TV cabinet that has vexed Andrea for years.

Maybe it’s selfish – a gathering of 3 amidst a pandemic, instead of an act of love. I don’t know – there are no right answers. But I want my mom to see that even though I cannot acquire toilet paper for miles and deer stroll up to our front porch, I really don’t live in the middle of nowhere as I suspect that she suspects.

Last night, while attempting to complete the oral exam portion of my Mindful Leader certification class, I learned that the child of one of my pod mates has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for years. My stomach involuntary knots at this news. I can’t even imagine that.

“He’s doing really well.” Our classmate assures us. Her family is doing a door drop for Thanksgiving.

While I attempt to lead my class in meditation, Bogart stands up on his back legs and plucks a package of buns from the counter. Once they are on the floor, he begins opening the bag with his teeth. I want to yell, “Knock it off, asshole!” But I suspect that would ruin the Zen I’m trying to create. Instead, I lean over, out of the view of my camera, and shove him off the buns. I slipped the package into my lap, lose my place and find myself closing out the session way too soon with the cat now parading in front of the camera. I’m presenting again on Tuesday to make up for this shit show and will ensure I am sequestered from all pets. Cats are assholes. I hadn’t seen that asshole all day but then, as if on cue, when I’m on camera is when he chooses to make an appearance – to express his love, mainly for carbs but perhaps me as well.

Oh baby, don't hurt me, don't hurt me No more What is love? Yeah

No, I don't know why you're not fair I give you my love, but you don't care So what is right and what is wrong? Gimme a sign

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