Monday, February 20, 2017

Love Month and More

February is Love Month on The Blood Red Pencil. Of course, it’s Valentine’s Day month. I have to admit I’m not the mushy type. I don’t leave little hearts or xoxo on my notes, never did. I don’t do squiggly hugs either, though I do write the word when I want to hug someone in person but can't. Hugs.


I love my family and love my friends. I have friends I’ve known for almost my whole life. We stay in contact and still care what happens to each other, maybe more than ever now that we’re older. We’ve been through marriages, divorces, births, serious illnesses, and death, but our bonds are still strong. They’re family and in some ways closer because we knew each other through grade school, teen years, through schoolgirl crushes, loves, college, travels, and beyond. We were silly and stupid and crazy together and did things I’d never admit to my own children. One made me promise I wouldn’t tell her son that she drove 100 miles an hour down the beach road with me riding shotgun. Of course I never would.

My sons are gone, living their own lives. I love the women they’ve chosen, so I’m lucky in that respect. The closest is four hours away by car; the other farther. In 2014, I became a grandmother for the first time at--cough-cough, sputter-sputter--years old. Ella is very much like her daddy: determined, smart, and fearless, with a touch of temper. She's a charmer, and I have no doubt she’ll turn out to be as fine a person as both her parents. It had been thirty-three years since I held an infant, but it all came back to me as if it were yesterday. The warmth of the cuddle, the sweet baby fragrance.


Last year, my husband became ill. Illness changes people and it changes lives, whether it’s your illness or someone you love. It tests you until you wonder how strong you are or how patient, how loving and compassionate. I try. I don’t think I always succeed.

And then there’s Bogie, my dog, a stray my son rescued from the streets of Savannah. The pup had my name written all over him, and he wound up in the perfect place, for him and for me. I say my dog because he’s totally attached to me. He follows me everywhere, even sleeps with me. I’m never alone even at my loneliest, and he makes me smile every day, even when I don’t feel like smiling.

We’re born without our permission, we grow up, we love, we win some, we lose some. February 14th comes around every year. We shouldn’t let sharing our emotions depend only on a gushy card or a call or a few roses, but to take inner stock of what’s important―who we love, who loves us. This year, my husband and I received the best present of all: a puzzle from Ella that she made, maybe with a little help. We had fun putting it together, and we’ll keep it forever and ever and ever.

Whatever genre we write, we draw from deep inside us those life experiences we remember with a clarity we could never convey if we hadn't felt them. Love is one of the most powerful of all emotions. Who among us fails to remember our first love, though decades have passed, the sweet smell of a newborn, or the warmth and security of a beloved parent? Happy Love Month.


Polly Iyer is the author of eight novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

12 comments :

  1. Polly, you've captured with insight and scope so much of what love is. More than butterflies in the tummy on a first kiss or head-over-heals infatuation or mushy valentines, it is part of who we are. Each of us experiences it differently, yet a common thread weaves myriad patterns through all who love. What a gift it is to those of us who translate its many nuances into the lives of our characters! I love this wonderful February post for those who write and those who read and all others who love. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda. This is about as personal as I get, but it poured out of me. Love is complicated. :-)

      Delete
  2. Love can move mountains and spark wars. It can divide but it can also heal. From theme to motivation, it is a powerful tool in fiction and in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Diana. That's why all my books have a romance or a relationship. It makes my characters more human.

      Delete
  3. Beautifully written, and right on target. We can never go wrong taking stock of love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Though I edited it a hundred times, the initial thought came pouring out.

      Delete
  4. Unless the subject has four legs and a tail, I’m not a gusher either, Polly. No Xs or Os for me. I think our culture trivializes love, and that superficiality often ends up on the written page. In our world, hugs are handed out like business cards, and the word love is tossed about casually often used to label transient feelings like romance, attraction, or lust rather than the life-affirming, enduring emotion you describe so beautifully here.

    Oh, and at the risk of gushing, I adore that photo of Ella and Bogie.

    VR Barkowski


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That photo is one of my favorites ever, VR, so I'm glad you can gush over it.

      Even though I've written erotic romances, I always tried to portray love in more ways than just sex or lust, which is hard to do because both are expected in an ER. There are so many facets to love, and we're in agreement as to how to portray it. Thanks for posting, VR.

      Delete
  5. Love is like a lake; beautiful, sustaining, occasionally gross, and with more depth than the surface reveals. Why society expects us to express all of that on one particular day out of the year is beyond me. *grumblemutter* Though I do like the 50% off sales on chocolate the following day ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is definitely a plus, Audrey. By the same token, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, etc. I guess it's a superficial way of expressing our feeling, if only for a day because some of us forget to do it the other 364.

      Delete
  6. What a terrific post, and I had to gush a bit over the picture of Ella and the dog. I have such fond memories of the joys of first grandchildren and how being a grandmother can be so rewarding. It will always be that way. I know. Most of my grandkids are grown, and I still get that warmth inside when I think of them.

    BTW, I was a grandmother the first time at a very young age. VERY young. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I was late at everything, Maryann, and so was my son. Makes for an old grandmother. I was always 10 years older than my sons' friends' mothers. But Ella was worth waiting for. (I love that photo too.)

      Delete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...