Letter to the Expression of Love

Me & Art 2

That’s me, sitting on my big brother’s knee…

Dear Sue and Arthur

I was up and writing early this morning, roused by circumstance and also awakened by the shimmering summer sun light and its’ promise of another dancing day.

And on this day my mind turns to love, as it so often does, and the evolution of that delicious, bounteous phenomenon in my life…

Now, there are many notions and shades of love, and so I begin on this musing reverie by remembering my earliest influences and inferences…

This begins with my family and the love I have for each one of them in turn – something which has fluctuated with teenage mood and stomping circumstance; but now – looking back, is I realise, a deep well of certainty – in them and in me.

Then always in my heart, there was the desired romantic attachment of which I always dreamt and that I knew would come my way one sudden gorgeous day; and so it did, just not the way I had consciously planned…

And on to recent time, when I wrote a whole and beautiful book on the vast and shifting facets of love and how you can find it if you seek it, everywhere…

Yet still there is more love to be learnt and so, running randomly back down the spine of my living time, today I remembered one particular day in my life when I said ‘I love you’… and this is how it was…

One of my oldest childhood friends – Susan had just had her third child. I had been to visit them in hospital and had the joy of arriving, just as his 2 oldest sisters saw him for the first time too. We looked into the cot – me looking down, and them craning up, to see him. And there he was – a tiny sleepy being with a strong thatch of dark hair, already formed as a personality in so many ways; in other ways yet to be formed, and still to be unfurled and informed to us all in times to come…

“Ahhhh..!” His oldest sister Elizabeth said and we all smiled and coo-ed and then carried on with that day, flowing through time in that place and then back on to our own lives and own tempos elsewhere.

Later, close to bed time, the telephone rang and it was Susan’s husband Mike, now a busy a captain (well, CEO) of industry, and normally in our double dealings – phlegmatic, sardonic and measured… But not this time…

“It’s Sue” he said, and in fast, faltering words told me that still in hospital, she had had some kind of fit and nearly died; but then she had been revived and saved, and she wanted to see me…

So I put the telephone down and cried, and spent a sleepless night, waiting for day light to allow me to see her. Then I marshalled my whirling thoughts and spiralling emotions, and knew with absolute clarity what it was I had to do, as my response. I was going to go to that hospital bed and tell Sue a truth I had never shared before. Not shared because it was not then my habit, and also, that until that moment, it was my unconscious secret.

I breathed in deep and travelled to that place with sure steps and I ran to Sue’s bed and there she was, all fine – breathing and sanguine, having just looked life and death in the face, in such a short space of time. So she told me her story and how as a nurse herself, she recognised the danger signs and before she had shot off into her shocked bodily state, had pressed the call button and the hospital staff ran to her side and so she and they saved her, with their own urgent actions…

So now I heard it from her, I held her hand and I said: “I thought of life without you and it was the most dreadful, dark, entirely bereft feeling, even just the thought of you not being here in the life of everyone that you love. Now I want you to know that I love you and am so grateful for this moment with you and for all our moments together, past, present and future…”

And we both cried… Tears of release and joy and love, with the cherished indulgence of having what we had, there, literally in our hands at that time…

And there were more words between us, which I won’t share with you now, for they were ours alone. And I knew instinctively that such a momentous happening could not be confined to this single moment alone, and indeed that was not the end of this episode for her; for life given back has its’ reckoning. Yet with characteristic love and strength, she pulled through that and pushed through, on to pastures new…

And that bed side confession was an important stage in my evolution of love: an undamming of spirit and words and emotions. Not this time a phrase mumbled to a parent or in the throes of passion; but a deep and clear recognition of what I felt for another person; a force compounded of all the elements of myself and of hers, of our combined characteristics, history and personality. And it was done. And to this day those three words are repeated… Not with forced regularity… Just now and again… When I am struck by the simple urge to feel and speak them…

And thanks to this, I became freer with my love words and who I would share them with; in every degree and shade of my being; and on I journeyed through life and opened my heart more by protecting it less. That sweet tactic has had its’ burdens and its’ rewards, steering me through the inherent complication of connections and crossings and along journeys I have taken. But taken them I have and so now, I would not and could not have it any other way…

Love has become a better habit, and now I express it free of embarrassment, as I have grown up and grown older. Yet still this loving expression evolves…

I’m not in the habit of telling my big brother that I love him… Simply because that is characteristic of the parameters of the relationship that we have evolved over our own aeons… The last time I said it was, just as with Susan, at a time of emotional crux; being when our mother had just died. We had had the funeral and she was buried and that was that… A few days later we were talking on the telephone and I told him that I loved him, for I was suddenly frightened I would never see him again… So we agreed to stay in each other’s lives and that bargain was my reassurance.

And to a greater or lesser degree we are in each other’s lives. I feel somehow as the little sister that I am the bane of his life and someone he has to take care of, sometimes, even now… And I wonder what he gets from me, apart from memory and similarity.

Well, let me state for the record, that my big brother gets my love and my deepest, happiest gratitude.

So I state for the record: I love you big bro. There it is.

And I haven’t written about him in my blogs before because I feel, so different as he is from me (the one freely proclaiming my emotional stuff out there in the ether), that he would be embarrassed, in the same way that he seemed to be, all those long years ago, when I was a small child, and insisted on giving him a big, wet kiss before I went to bed, every single night, even though he fended me off. But I always got him in the end…

So, you know, I was a persistent little sister back then and I’m being that again now… And this declaration of love is accompanied by typing and tears, and has no statute of limitations, not just being born along with my birth certificate, but from many, many things, including his constancy to me. And he may never say it to me, for that is not what we two do and may not feel it that way; but I will continue to see his love for me in his many acts of service, and the time he spends with me, and the customs that we have created in celebrating our birthdays, and reminiscing on our history; and all the elements that go into this particular evolution of love. The revolutions of which will continue and will I know from experience, will never, ever end.

But so it is that this letter has to end… With love… Of course… Always…

Yours, with… etc…

S xxx

PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of love in its’ gore and glory? This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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