My beloved is not a morning person. Nope, C.C. likes the warm comforts of bed in the morning. He enjoys slumbering on, resting in the cocoon of blankets, Marley the Great Cat purring on his chest, Ellie the wonder dog snoring on her mat at the foot of the bed.
Me. I love early morning. I love the quiet, the peace, the silence of the house. I love the darkness outside my window. The stillness of the road stretching west to east at the foot of the lawn.
I’ve also come to love taking the C-train into the downtown every morning, and thanks to my beloved, it’s fast and convenient because, even though he doesn’t like the morning, he loves to make a difference in my day by getting up and driving me to the C-train station. Ain’t that love? he may still be wearing his pajama bottoms beneath his coat, and his feet may be bare within his shoes, but he arises and drives me where I need to go, relieving me of the extra 25 minutes it takes to walk the distance.
He also is now getting up to make me a smoothie every morning.
And in his expression of love, in his caring ways, I feel and know Love. What a blessing. What a gift.
In November, when I was coaching at Choices, at the Annual Christmas dinner with Thelma, each person was asked to share something that made a difference to them that week. I shared how every morning before I left the house, even earlier than my normal leave for the office time, C.C. would arise and make me a smoothie. It felt so loving and I felt cherished, I told the group. In his actions, Love shimmered in the early morning darkness and my heart glowed.
Years ago, one of the first times I had coached at Choices, I watched one of the trainees as she was being attended to by a medical team. She had slipped on some ice in the parking lot and hurt her ankle. An ambulance was called and as they were moving her on the stretcher into the ambulance, I watched one of my fellow coaches as he hovered over her, checking to ensure her needs were being met.
The tableau of the woman on the stretcher, the coach standing by her side was bathed in the lights of the hotel carport. I remember watching his face as he held her hand and talked soothingly to her. There was such love and consideration for this woman, a relative stranger to him, as he ensured the EMS team took care of her and as he worked to allay her fears of missing out on any of the training.
I remember standing by my car looking towards the vignette and seeing the look of love and care on his face. And I remember the jolt of yearning, and possibly envy, that pierced my heart.
I want that in my life, I remember thinking. I want to feel so cherished, so loved, so cared for. I want someone to look at me with the purity of love that he was looking at her.
And it hit me that I had never felt that yearning before. Never known that I desired to be cherished, cared for and embraced by someone else’s concern — romantic or not.
In that moment, the seed of my future relationship was planted. In opening myself up to the awareness of what I yearned for and wanted in my life, I became conscious of having ‘needs’.
I’d always shirked away from that word. Always shied away from what I judged to be its ‘neediness’. To need someone else is weak, I said. To need someone leaves me at risk of being disappointed. Abandoned. Rejected.
And so, I protected myself. I don’t need anyone, I’d quip. And then add with a smile, but it would be nice to have someone in my life.
That moment of watching the woman being cared for by a stranger exploded my self-bullsh*t into pieces.
That moment said, “Cockapooie Louie! You have needs and you keep denying them. Stop it!”
C.C. and I wouldn’t start dating until a year later and while I knew I loved him, I don’t think I ever acknowledged that I had needs that needed to be met within a relationship for me to feel safe, secure and content until that day when I was able to acknowledge that “I have needs and that’s okay. In fact, better than okay, it’s good and it’s honest to have needs.
I believe part of being in an intimate relationship is to trust the other enough to acknowledge, “I have needs” and to be willing to state them. Whether or not the other person can meet my needs isn’t the issue. What is the issue is that I trust them enough to express my needs and to hear theirs. We then both get to make choices based on our knowing, versus guessing what the other needs to feel safe, secure, loved for and cherished in the relationship.
C.C. knows the way to my heart. I am grateful he treads the path with such loving care. In his actions, I feel loved and cherished. I know my heart is safe in his hands.