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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wheels Go Round...

...and here we are again…talking about loving and cherishing. Welcome to the circular thinker's brain.

So. I’ve blithely thrown about the term cherish. I’ve written that there were those who did not cherish me (and those whom I did not cherish), without really explaining what I meant. My thoughts keep circling back towards definitions and meanings. I want to understand this web of feelings myself.

My mother loved me fiercely, of that there is no doubt. She dedicated her whole adult life to being a good mother to her two children. My parents sacrificed a great deal for us. We were poor. As a child I saw my parents sacrifice so many of their own wants and needs for the sake of ours. I always knew my parents struggled and strove to ensure a better life for me. I always revered that about them.

Something was missing on my mom’s side, though. I can’t reduce this discussion to a few paragraphs and do justice to the truth. There were so many causes and factors that I cannot hope to portray my relationship with my mother accurately without writing at least a novelette. It would be wrong of me to describe her in black and white terms. She was a riot of colors.

What I’m trying to get to is the missing ingredient in our love for each other. We did not cherish each other. My mother was a devout Catholic. She was an actress and a scholar and an orphaned refugee. She adopted her role as mother as the great calling in her life and she applied herself to her duties diligently. She did all the things anyone could hope a mother would do. She prepared me for life. Here’s the thing, though: it was as if she reduced our relationship to one of roles. She the mother and I the child, forever playing our respective roles.

As a youngster, this was no big deal. I was the sponge, she was the water, and I just soaked everything up. My perspectives began their tectonic shift once I grew older. I began to think for myself. I developed my own unique tastes and sensibilities. I embraced a moral framework that worked for me; I pursued studies that interested me. I became an adult.

Now, my father took a great deal of interest in this creature called his son. He was obviously fascinated by what he saw in me. The feelings were mutual.

My mother, on the other hand, never tried to get to know the man I had become. In her eyes, I was ever the child…someone who had to be taught all the rules of good behavior. She loved the adult who followed her dicta. She never understood (nor tried to understand) the man who lived his life on different terms. She never came to know me. And, I, in turn, never came to truly know her. We are both the poorer for that.

This brings me back to the term cherish. One can only cherish a person by knowing all there is to know (or can be known) and still holding the cherished being close to one’s heart. Friends and lovers come to cherish each other by sharing their lives (the good, the bad and the stupid) and their love freely. To feel truly cherished, one must first reveal one’s true face to another and have that person respond with unconditional love. That’s the key, isn't it? To bare one's soul and still be loved unconditionally. There is no better feeling than feeling cherished. It’s not enough to be loved for one’s successes, possessions, bank account, or trappings. That’s all just facts, stuff, and patina. Beneath all of that exists a human being…a heart, mind and soul…and human beings are complex things. I dearly love and cherish those who took the time and trouble to get to know the true “me” and did not turn away.

There is no better feeling than to know that one is truly loved and truly cherished, despite the fact that one can be (and often is) unlovable.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Gillette said...

Ah, yes, Mr. Jonas...to be loved for our icky pieces and parts- that is true love.

Great posting. Thanks.

Fri Mar 30, 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gillette said...

And, yes, to love those places back...

Fri Mar 30, 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

This is the dream that I tried to explain, but not nearly as well. What a beautiful rendering...."Cherish"....it's now forever changed in my interpretation

Sat Jul 14, 12:08:00 AM  

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