the habit of love
Without exception, she consistently, unabashedly expressed her joy daily when seeing me. She listened to my rants and rages without judging. Remained impartial and didn’t give unsolicited advice.
With her, there was always a freedom to be my odd, obsessive self. Her stellar level of intuition meant that she most often knew I was sick well before I did.
For fifteen years, this fellow introvert and I connected daily. Affectionate greetings. Shared silences. We were each other’s love habit.
My friend was not human, much more of the feline persuasion, yet she has been a hard habit to break. She was a rescue cat who shared my home for this most recent third of my life. Even though it has been two months since she passed, as recent as yesterday, I instinctively spoke aloud to her in a moment of happy expression. An excitement to share.
The weight of grief has lessened considerably but I now realize how much I learned from loving my furry companion.
She softened my once-sharp edges. Gave me space to risk a deep love. Taught me to listen more than speak. Revealed a surprisingly deep desire and ability for affection and connection. Showed me that isolation is not as nourishing for me as I had once thought and that two hearts have an abundance of energy. I discovered as much about myself in loving her as I did in losing her.
And I learned that the habit of love, in whatever form, is one well worth developing and only hope that I can follow her example of what a good friend could be.