I Love You | Jennifer Lemon


I Love You

By Jennifer Lemon

For the What We Talk About When We Talk About Love


 

As she gazed into his eyes, Amy’s eyes filled with tears. Yes, this was real love and they had only been introduced a short time ago. Amy had been told that she would experience this wonderful moment but she was totally unprepared for how strong her feelings of love actually were. She whispered softly into his ear “I love you.” And she truly meant it—no expectations, no requirements, no strings attached—just unconditional love.

And Amy felt that love returned—not in words, as her newborn baby obviously did not speak—but as energy. She felt a flow from her heart to his and back again. As he stared into her eyes Amy felt a warmth inside and she wept with joy knowing her life would never be the same.

Fast forward 18 years. That little baby, who was named Ryan, now grown up and attending university, is still adored by parents whose love never wavered, through the proud times and the not-so-proud times. His father Tim has just approached his mother Amy and begun a difficult conversation.

“Amy, we need to talk. I’m sure you’re aware that our marriage is not what it once was. I no longer feel any passion for you and I have met someone else with whom I now wish to share my life. I would like us to sit down amicably and decide what needs to happen next.”

Amy was in shock. Instead of an ‘I love you’ moment this was a totally unexpected ‘I don’t love you anymore’ occasion. As Amy stared at Tim she felt a stabbing pain in her heart. She slowly summoned up enough courage to speak.

“I had no idea you had gone looking for someone else,” she said. “I wish you had told me you didn’t love me anymore. It would have been helpful to know.”

“It’s not that I don’t love you. I’m just not ‘in love’ with you. I am in love with someone else. I didn’t plan this. It just happened.”

“Well, maybe you should move into the spare bedroom and make a list of what you consider to be a fair division of property.”

Amy didn’t sleep much that night. She mostly cried and thought about love. Amy never had expected their initial hormonal ‘in love’ feeling to last a lifetime. She had always thought that change was normal. Was she wrong?

Fast forward again. The divorce has been finalized, Ryan is now independent, and Amy’s mum has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Amy remains in the house with the understanding that Tim will be paid his half when it is eventually sold. The government department where Amy works is being downsized and she has decided to accept a redundancy payout, leave work and put the house on the market. Several years ago she watched her mother care for her father who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Just as her mother had been unable to put the man she loved into an aged care facility, Amy was unable to turn over the care of the mother she loved to others. She would move in with her, taking care of her for the rest of her days. And it wasn’t done out of a sense of duty or guilt, but out of love. In fact, the last words they exchanged on her mother’s deathbed two years later were “I love you.”

Another five years pass. Amy is now working as a volunteer for a local Alzheimer’s group. Her many life experiences have left her with a strong sense of love for humanity which has resulted in a compassion which pushes her to help others.

Amy has thought a lot about love over the years. She likes to visualize it as an energetic bond connecting all of humanity. When love is unconditional, that bond is strong and there is much joy but, when love comes with conditions attached, the bond is weakened and one experiences the pain of separation. Amy has decided that pure love is love without judgment.

Amy is invited to a café to have coffee with Ryan who has exciting news to share. He is in love! They are moving in together! Amy’s response is “How wonderful! She’s a lovely girl. I’m so happy for you.” What else could she say? She wants only happiness for the son whom she loves unconditionally.

Ryan returns to work and Amy remains in the café having another cappuccino. She looks up and sees a gentleman at a nearby table smiling at her. She smiles back without even thinking and suddenly realizes that he is getting up to come to her table.

Amy’s journey of love continues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .