What is love? A figment of the human imagination, or is it a feeling that people say that they rarely or never experience? Love is love and forever will always be love. I believe in love lasting forever, and I’m not just talking about love between one man and one woman. I’m just saying any kind of love – the love you would have for a friend, for your pet dog, or just anything that brings happiness and joy to your life. Love is something everyone experiences whether they like to admit it or not. Love does not disappear – it stays with that person forever. It’s contagious like the flu in the winter, and everyone ends up loving someone or something at one point in their life.
I remember when I went to China my mother had warned me about my step-uncle having stomach cancer. About three days after I arrived in China, I went to see him in the cancer hospital. Walking through the hallways was like walking through a cemetery with the living dead. My step-uncle had been placed in the area of the hospital where there was certainty of death. I did not bend my mind on my step-uncle dying. I thought he was going to get better and possibly live longer. Oh, now naïve I was. When I walked into his room, I remember seeing him smile. He was optimistic about everything and believed that he was going to get better, and I believed him too. I hugged him before I left and told him to watch his health carefully and that’s all I told him. I didn’t tell him “I love you.” or anything like that, and it was the last time I had saw him alive.
Weeks later, he had been coughing up blood on a Sunday around 3 AM. The maid had burst into our rooms waking up my mom to tell her about my step-uncle. My mom left to the hospital leaving me behind with my cousin. I remember my mind continuously raced on the thought of my uncle dying. My mother called me in the late afternoon and told me that he died. I didn’t cry, but it all felt surreal. He was here one minute and gone the next.
Everything changed when he died, but to me, it’s like he never left. It’s still like he’s still here. Love carries us on and manages to heal the pain over time; however, love is what pains us. It grounds us, but it clouds our thoughts at the same time. It makes us become realistic and unrealistic. Love will last forever, and a love for something — better yet, for someone will always leave a mark no matter what type of impact they had on you. It’s a feeling that will never fade away. So, exactly, when’s the last time you told someone that you loved them?
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.