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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/970488-good-news
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by Rhyssa
Rated: NPL · Book · Personal · #2150723
a journal
#970488 added November 26, 2019 at 12:26am
Restrictions: None
good news
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
This quote makes me come up with the question ‘which kind of love?’ and the thought, ‘I’d rather have respect instead of some kinds of love.’
What kind of ideas do you get from this quote and what do you think the quote really means?

I think I understand what it's trying to say--however, I'm not sure I agree. First off, I think what he's trying to say is that in some relationships--and here I think Tolstoy was talking family more than less intimate friendships--when the relationship is more formal, respect is given instead of a more emotional connection. However, I'm not sure that respect should be considered as separate from love.

My father has spent a lot of time thinking about what love is--I think he started with what Plato said about the differences between brotherly love and romantic love and companionable love (I don't remember--are there seven different kinds of love--including jealous love which doesn't feel like love at all to me) and concluded that if you brake love down to what it is at heart, his definition is love is helping someone or something complete its purpose. And respect is a part of that.

So, I think for the kind of love that I believe in, that builds and makes people into the most they can be, respect is an integral part of the equation. After all, I couldn't say that because I love someone that I cannot respect them. That makes no sense. And so I fight against the implied definition I see Tolstoy using for both terms.

And on a related note, I've been thinking a lot about love and family recently. On Friday, my sister's second twin (Laurel--Lily has been home since about day 4) finally came home. She was in the NICU for over a month--but when she was first born, they thought she might be there for three months to a year, so we're doing well to have her home at just over a month. And it's been an exciting weekend, full of changing a colostomy bag (it was Rachel's second time ever, first time unsupervised) three times so far (I think we're averaging a day and a half--they theoretically last 2 to 5 days when an experienced hand is doing the changing, although I think that infants might be a special case that might be more wiggly and difficult) and teaching the kids how to hold her. We were hoping she'd be home by Thanksgiving, so this is a good thing. Today she had the first of a good many appointments that will take up the next bits of her life.

So, what is love? It's a big sister who is willing to hold the baby in the afternoon when in the morning the sight of the colostomy made her faint. It's a big brother at six who wraps the string of a balloon on her car seat so she can see it when she wakes up, and another brother who leaves it there even though he is three years old and has wanted to have both balloons ever since the nine (ten the day after Thanksgiving) year old's party on Saturday. It's tired faces and obsessive cleaning. It's friends bringing meals for the past month so that we still have leftovers that we're slowly eating--we have a lot of salad to go through. It's the lady who ran us down in the church parking lot with a casserole yesterday, because she had been thinking about us and wanted to make sure we were fed. It's looking down into Laurel's perfect eyes and smile--and remembering her less than perfect body and holding her so carefully that my arm cramps.

And a tired auntie writing this after the noise quiets in the other room and I set my alarm for tomorrow.

© Copyright 2019 Rhyssa (UN: sadilou at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/970488-good-news