I grew up in a home without tenderness or affection. The hardest part was being a child who craved affection in a home where we were left to assume we were loved. God gave me three very distinct gifts: a heart full of love that needed reciprocation, an emotional/intellectual curiosity that would keep me from settling for anything less than what I needed and a will to survive that was stronger than the trials I would face.
My sisters and I left home with no expectation of tenderness or affection in relationships. Our view of love was anything but romantic. It was functional, practical and a means to motherhood. There were no fantasies or fairy tale ideas of romance discussed. I was well into my thirties before my mother began to say “I love you” to me – it took a brush with death for her to put things into perspective. I can’t say with any honesty that she didn’t love us; she didn’t know how to love us demonstratively.
I was at a school dance the first time I heard this song. I believe I was around thirteen. It hit me so hard I wanted to cry but fought back the tears. The lyrics touched the part of me that was begging to be told “I love you.”
The idea that someone could feel love as deeply as the boy in the song set my little woman world spinning. I suppose that was the beginning of understanding there was more to love than I had experienced.
The search was on . . . .