At 23, I still have plenty to learn about life. However, throughout my experiences so far, there was one moment that shaped my perspective on what it means to love another person.
This moment did not come at the end of a date. It happened while brushing my mom’s hair.
I was standing next to her bed in the ICU of a hospital that I would grow very familiar with over the next month. She was heavily sedated with pain medications and unaware of my presence. I gently weaved a hairbrush around shaved spots and staples, thinking about how much things can change in two weeks…
I remembered the way we squeezed each others’ hands when the surgeon used the word “massive” to describe her brain tumor.
And how we went shoe shopping right after the MRI. My eyes watered when the sales person asked how my day was going.
And the way my family sat on my parents’ bed and prayed together the night before her surgery.
And how the entire hospital waiting room had emptied after 14 hours and we were the only ones left waiting.
As I brushed her hair, I realized that the person who had always supported me now needed my support. Everything that I had previously been concerned about– dating, exams, friends– went out the window. In the midst of my own selfishness, God called me to become a better daughter and a more selfless person.
That’s what love means to me. Not the fuzzy feelings you get when the boy you’re crushing on sends you a sweet text. Love is pulling yourself together and providing strength to someone who needs it. Love is putting your fears and anxiety aside to brush your mom’s hair when she cannot do it herself.
(Mom– If you read this, I love you)