14 April 2014

L is for Love Equals Listening (And Lilacs)

It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness.
We have no scar to show for happiness.
We learn so little from peace.
~ Chuck Palahniuk

Back in January, I began the One Page a Day Challenge and immediately threw away my quill.  Now in April, I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and prepping for a Wilderness Writers’ Retreat.  I need ink, a stiff drink and therapy.

oday I wanted desperately to be lazy.  This is what comes of a three day weekend.

Laziness and procrastination and a “I don’ wanna” attitude.

Are we there yet?  No?  Sigh.  How many more letters to go in this thing!?

I was going to just start writing about lazy days and summer.  But apparently Mother Nature may have the last laugh ~ again.  Might get snow ~ light, mind you, but still ~ tomorrow evening.  And that thought brought me right back to my original idea for this post: lilacs and the rewards of listening.

L is for Listening
We all notice the people who remember us:  the gift that is just what we wanted.  The dish that was made with our dietary restrictions, allergies, and intolerances in mind.  The words of encouragement that were said at the moment we needed to hear them.

It’s not terribly difficult to be that person.  I always listen when one of my friends says they like or want something, but I am super forgetful and so learned to write things down in my address book.  Favorite colour.  Favourite store.  Favorite food.  Love languages.  Personality types.

Shhh, don’t tell them I do that.  They think I’m magically gifted in remembering these things.  Google Contacts, how I love thee.

Lilacs, Easter 2011
Image credit: Mikaela D'Eigh
My father is not that type of person.  It’s just not his personality.  And that’s okay.  He provided a roof, a table, and food on it.  A grade-A education and the freedom to pursue it to the highest degree I wanted.

He is the stereotypical Eastern European: few words but many actions.

But one day, he listened.  And one day, he touched my heart like no one had before and only a couple of dear friends have been able to since. 

L is for Lilacs
About two months before the end of my sophomore year of college and a beautiful Spring day ~ the kind that doesn't come very often in Virginia: cool breezes and temperatures not yet in the humidifying eighties.  My parents and sibs were coming to visit and take some of my stuff back home that I didn't need.

On a phone call in the previous weeks, I had lamented that I would miss seeing the lilacs back home ~ they are notoriously short lived down here.  Imagine my surprise ~ and delight ~ when my father walked in carrying an armful of lilac blooms.

All so I wouldn’t miss seeing them that year.

L is for Love
It’s only been in recent years that my father has taken to saying “I love you.”  Something about reaching your late eighties and nineties is mellowing.  And it’s been healing ~ for both of us.

I love words.  They have power.  They have meaning.  They have life.  But I learned very early on that love doesn’t always use words.  Love speaks in actions too.  You just have to look for it.  And hold the memory close.

As for me, I’ll may eventually forget the particulars.  But I’ll never forget the time that Love listened, and brought me lilacs.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Darn allergies.  Acting up in the office again!  Ahem ~ so, what love language do you speak?  Do you know your loved ones’ love language?  Ask ~ you just might be surprised at their answers.

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