BY PEGGY HAMMES
There is a universal truth I have found in my work. Everybody longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is let somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.
My cats—I have three of them—have an irritating habit of running into the kitchen whenever I wake up, making little cat noises, rubbing up against my legs, butting their heads against whatever body part of mine they could come in contact with, following me around nose to heels wherever I go. Their bowls were never empty. What did they want?
This morning I took a few moments to sit on the floor with them and pour some fresh food into their bowls, talking to them while I did so. They immediately grew quiet and walked over to their bowls. Purring loudly, they ate.
All they wanted was my company. Some attention. An indication that I cared enough to slow down and spend a few moments with them. So, today, I took time to visit with my cats while they ate.
Life is about more than just chores, errands, and responsibilities. Life is also about love and attention and sharing small, everyday pleasures. Since I had been very involved with the heartache of caring for my mother, the cats were feeling the loss of my emotional presence. While the choice to have my mother live with me was a joyous one, and the right one, too, it has been incredibly difficult to watch what is happening to her since she began suffering with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago. As I prepared for what the future would bring for her, there were moments when I was overwhelmed by my despair, anger, and sorrow over what her life had become. I’ve heard it said that if there were not a god, angels, spirit, or someone to love, we would invent one. For in our deepest hour of need, we must have someone or some higher power on which to call for help.
Are there people in your life who hunger for some sign that you care? Others for whom you might slow down long enough to acknowledge or take part in their lives?
Today, I took time to visit with my cats while they ate. Today, I sat on the couch with my mother and just held her hand. Today, I decided that I would make a special point of sharing myself with those I love, and I began to look for simple but rewarding ways to share my time and attention with others to whom I’ve made a commitment to love.