I was driving to Wisconsin the other day and on the radio I hear Queen with “Somebody to love”. I grew up listening to them and whenever they sing to me, they always take me back home and into my childhood.
“Somebody, somebody - Can anybody find me somebody to love…”
You see, for me love has only one meaning. In my culture we use the word love exclusively for that “somebody” we love. We don’t say “I love you” to our family members, we don’t say “I love you” to our children. We don’t “love” the car we drive or the song on the radio. We only love the person who has our heart.
I left home at 17 and by then I have already experienced the sweet taste of love. By 19 I was living in a culture that loved everything around them! It took me a long time to be able to accept the fact that such a special word, that meant so much in my vocabulary, could be so easily tossed around by everyone. It made me wonder why people don’t use the right words to express their feelings about specific things, like the shoes in the window or the movie they just saw. I felt robbed of the opportunity to treasure the feelings associated with saying “I love you” to anyone. It meant so much to me and all of a sudden it was being dragged around like it was just an expression that you use when you don’t want to think about why you like something or how much you enjoyed it.
After I had children, my husband would say “I love you” all the time to them. I did too. I love my children with all of my heart. Most of the times I wish there was a stronger word than “love” that I could tell my children to make them understand that they are the spark inside my heart, that they are my whole world, that what I feel for them it’s so very special and precious. I can’t wait for them to grow up and have children of their own so that they can understand my love. And since I can’t really say “I parental love you so very much”, I guess saying “I love you” to them will have to do for now.