Do you remember those old cartoon strips with the cutesy girl and guy and the ‘Love Is’ quotes?
I’ve been thinking about those two words quite a lot recently. Love is so many things to so many people. I know it’s the obvious – the hearts, flowers, chocolates and all that. But it is so much more. It isn’t just romantic. It isn’t always dramatic. Sometimes it’s hidden away and you have to really focus to see it. And sometimes, you need to unearth the love within you, buried so deep inside you’ve forgotten it even exists.
As it’s been almost a year since my last ‘what’s going on with Heena’ blog post, today, for me, Love is sharing last year with you. Sharing my personal story always makes me nervous but here we go.
Love is…my beauty salon making time to see me when they were fully booked because they didn’t want me to go into hospital for a major operation with bad eyebrows
Love is…my brother Vijay and my Mum ignoring my grumpiness on the morning of my operation because they knew it came from fear.
Love is…my family spending the day either glued to my bedside or looking after my dog, only going home at 10.30 that night when they knew I was through the worst and was safe.
Love is…my friends Matt, Andy and Mark coming to see me in hospital and making me laugh so hard I thought my stitches would burst
Love is…my friend Jo coming in while I was resting to leave a card for me at the hospital when she had so much going on at home with her own family
Love is…my friends Angela and Jemma taking over bedside duties from my family and making a night in hospital feel like a night at the pub, and again, laughing so much I thought my stitches would burst
Love is…my consultant losing his temper with me, because I haven’t been a model patient and because he cares so much.
Love is…the incredible nurses who were so gentle, generous and compassionate
Love is…both of my brothers taking a week’s holiday to look after me and my dog
Love is…Vijay making me eat huge bowls of spinach salad because it will help me heal
Love is…my Dad sneaking me some chocolate because it’s my favourite and he felt sorry for me eating all that spinach!
Love is…Ajay learning to cook a curry so he could make me a fresh, healthy, nutritious meal
Love is…my Mum not only cooking for me but bringing it over, because I was too tired to do it myself, even though she’s now in her seventies and it was frickin’ freezing outside.
Love is…my friend Matt sending my terrible ‘Doctor Doctor’ jokes daily to ‘help the healing’
Love is…my dog Loki climbing over the sofa and onto my armchair like a furry Ninja just so he could cuddle up to me
Love is…my work family Ann and Linda going to incredible lengths to make sure I didn’t miss the Year-End drinks party even though I could barely walk
Love is…the kindest radiotherapy nurses who see that you’re scared and hold your hand for as long as they can
Love is…your brother taking you and your dog for a walk, juggling one of you that wants to race ahead with the other who can only walk at a snail’s pace
Love is…your Dad picking up your dog’s poo because you can’t bend over to do it
Love is…the biggest, tightest, longest hugs from your cousin when they finally find out what you’ve been through
Love is…friends that won’t let you hide at home for too long and text you just because
Love is…family that selflessly give up their weekends to you for nearly three months because you can’t go out yet
Love is…relishing your first theatre trip in six months
Love is…crying at your leaving do with your work colleagues because you’ll miss hanging out with your friends on a daily basis
Love is…spending a whole week away in Italian sunshine with your family and everyone getting along
Love is…friends that help you see the funny side of a disastrous dating experience and encourage you to keep going
Love is…waking up at 6am, even though you’re not a morning person, so you can get a workout in
Love is…friends who find a dog-friendly pub so you can go out on a Friday night and take your pooch with you
Love is…your friend nagging you to go for a check-up, knowing you’re scared and also knowing you still need to do it
Love is…opening the laptop and starting to write again, even though it feels rusty and the words sometimes get stuck.
Love is…everywhere. In everything we do, whether it’s for someone else or for ourselves. It’s remembering how someone takes their coffee. It’s checking they got home safely. It’s sharing a joke because you know they’ll find it funny. Sometimes it’s getting cross with them because you want more for them. It’s choosing the spinach salad and gym today and tomorrow so you can have pizza at the weekend and still feel healthy!. It’s the light in your eyes when you do something that heals your body or makes your soul sing. Love is surviving.
Love is. It just IS.