Love Is Extensionality

Love is extensionality — a hard lesson I'm learning on my mama's 3rd chemotherapy.

Everything tastes bitter now, she said. I've been dreading the thought this day would come. The day it is clearer to her that the very cure to her illness is ridding her of her simple joys — which are her only joys. Like S&R pizza. Or attending to her root crop garden. Such clarity carries with it a hurting confusion. Every time she drops the trowel due to her weaker grips, I could see she feels robbed of reasons to go on. So, as her family, we need to act like a system of limbs. All efforts are now aimed at helping her remember that every bit of life left in her is worth the fight. When pops is done cooking her breakfast, I will join momma at the table to ask her anything permaculture because god knows these discussions give her life. My brother will ask about the food, and when her response is a grimace from the lack of anything to taste, he'll go out and try to find her some substitute. Today, she cried for the first time about her cancer. I peacefully let her, but not without a generous congratulatory hug for letting that out. And not without taking it as an indication to put Wonder Woman in today's mother-daughter itinerary. Love is extensionality. In this case, we are the hands, legs and ears to momma's desire to extend herself.

See, I've been working hard for a life that will give me the freedom to be in places I want. But sometimes, rather than Sicily or another trip to Bali, this is what you will come to. So I still thank myself for showing up, for making art, for writing, for servicing others, even when the conditions were anything but conducive to being creative. I learned to love myself this way. People tell me my mom's sickness was never my cross to bear, and that I have all the right to be out there. And they're right. But perhaps this is love's Catch-22: the more you have it — the more you have love inside — the less and less it becomes about you.