The language of love

It must have been the chicken soup. It’s the only possible explanation. By rights I should have got worse. A week feeling absolutely lousy with a flu-y type cold symptoms had just wiped me out. Almost to the point of calling in sick. Not something I tend to do. After all, I didn’t have one sick day through the whole of chemo. But when I woke up with the congestion on my chest I thought it was only going to get worse and I struggled to get ready for the commitments I had that day at work. I almost didn’t go. At that stage I didn’t realise the decision to go was the best decision I could have made.

It may sound a little strange, but it had to be the chicken soup.

There it was at work just waiting for me, bubbling quietly on the stove. A pot of chicken soup full of all good things made by my beautiful friend. All of it, just for me. And I know how busy she is. But she made the time while getting herself and two young children ready for the day. The love in that soup was palpable and it was all I needed to turn the corner rather than get worse.

The language of love is so important. Gary Chapman puts it beautifully. He calls them The Five Love Languages. For some people it’s about giving and expressing love through words. For others it’s in gifts or spending time together. Many people feel loved when another does something special for them. And then there’s the special language of hugs. When I’m asked how people can support each other going through cancer, or life in general, I often ask if they know about the love languages. And I’m surprised how many people don’t. It’s so simple really, but so often overlooked. And it all boils down to this… we all give and receive love in a variety of different ways. When someone speaks our love language we feel loved and that can be so healing. But when someone is trying to love us in a way we don’t recognise we can often feel let down despite their best intentions.

The way I see it, my beautiful friend had spoken my love language. The love and thought and time she had put into making that soup was pure love in action. And feeling that love, the change it brought about in me was nothing short of miraculous…

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