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October 1, 2014

I might as well face it—I’m addicted to love

By Cindy Phillips

My name is Cindy Phillips and I’m a loveaholic. Not only do I admit to it, I’m actually proud of it.

I recently sent my friend and neighbor a text shortly after chastising him. I said, “You know I am honest with you because I love you, right?” He replied, “Yes.” Eight hours later he sent a second text that said, “Wait a minute…what kind of love?” I laughed out loud, thinking of the confusion my statement may have caused. I assured him it was a brotherly type of love–I had his back, I was a shoulder to cry on, I was available for hugs as needed.

There are many different types of love. Each one is equally reverent, but very unique. At the ripe old age of 60, I have experienced a plethora of love types over my lifetime.

Childhood love. Innocent but pure. I was raised by a single mom and to me, she hung the moon. At night, I just wanted to be near her. I would sit behind her and brush her hair. We would watch TV together, sprawled on the couch with me curled up in front of her. I felt safe and secure.

There was no one I loved more as a child than my mom, except for my grandmother. I would spend almost the entire summer with her since my mom worked full time. During the day, we would cook together, clean the apartment, walk to the grocery store and come home and cook again. We did take time out after breakfast to watch “The Price is Right” and “Queen for a Day.” And there were a few soap operas that grandma affectionately referred to as her “stories.”

After dinner, grandma would take a seat in her rocking chair and let me curl up on her lap. That rocker squeaked loudly, but somehow it soothed me to sleep. I would be thrilled when the weekend came and my mom would come to get me, but I was just as sad to leave my grandmother behind. I guess I wished we could all live together.

School friends. I went to a small Catholic school and spent eight years in the classroom with the same people. Today, many of them remain dear friends. I couldn’t wait each morning for the bus to drop me at the entrance to the school yard where we congregated. I loved being with my friends. At recess, we huddled on the steps and talked about everything that was paramount in the life of a pre-teen. After school, we were on the phone with each other until called to the dinner table.

Love from the heart. There is nothing that compares to falling in love. Those early stages of getting to know each other, never wanting to be apart, sharing every experience as if it were brand new . . . the first kisses. No matter how old we get, we never forget the first kiss.

Children. A mother falls in love with her child the second she knows life has begun in her womb. We will do anything to protect our child. The love is unconditional and never ending. The day our child is born, we hand over our heart. Even after the child becomes an adult, that love is never diminished and the connection is never broken.

Becoming a grandparent brings the love of a child to a new level. But our children will always be our babies.

Soulmate love. This just may be the deepest, strongest, most profound love of all. Love for family is a natural, but soulmate love grabs when you least expect it. It is an all-encompassing love with many facets. It’s the love that rolls passion, friendship, respect, adoration, affection and comfort all into one. It’s when two people can sit together for hours and not say a word without feeling uncomfortable. It’s finishing each other’s sentences. It’s communicating simply by giving the look or the nod. It’s the in-sickness-and-in-health love, the richer-or-poorer love, the wake up and go to sleep with a smile and a kiss love.

Never take this love for granted. If you do, you will experience “after the heartbreak love.” This is the love that is enveloped in loss and regret. It hurts. But if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. And it prepares you for the next love that will be even greater and the one that will last. I’ve said it before and I am not ashamed to say it again–I am a hopeless romantic. I believe that love is truly what makes this world go round. It gets me through each day and lets me sleep soundly at night.

If you love someone, tell that person today. It’s not meant to be kept to yourself.

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