It is hard though. To let go of something, even though it has, or is about to become, toxic. Especially if the reasons you love - too much - are entangled with the things that are what made it so right to begin with.
I don't know if he will remember - or if I ever told him in words - the reasons why I loved him. For the attention, certainly. For the feeling of being wanted, of course.
Loving too much - not wanting to let someone go, even when you know that you are no longer good for them - is difficult to accept when the reasons you love them have nothing to do with you. They are what that person is about - who they are - all the things that make them who they are, outside and apart from the connection made by a relationship.
I don't know if he knew that. About the reasons it was so hard to let go.
Driving through the snow and seeing the man in the business suit, holding up a sign asking for work. A man dressed, not for the cold and horrible weather - but for an interview. You see him as we drive past, and I see you go silent and your face stiffen. I see that you are angry that this is something that happens to a good person. Someone who has pride, and yet is putting themself out there to get help. If someone, anyone will stop. And cars stream by, oblivious.
You turn around, grim determination. Go to the drugstore. Buy the warmest hat they have, and gloves ,and an think an umbrella. You take these to the man and give them to him, along with your business card. You give him, not just a moment of your time and some small gesture of pity - you give him respect. You give him a chance that he may or may not pursue - but that shows him that someone is willing to take a chance on him. You show him that you see him as a human being, who needs help, but who is more than just his need.
I loved - love - you for that.
The man outside another drug store. crumpled on the ground, not so much asking for anything, perhaps having moved past the point of feeling that help is possible. Feeling that there is no help to give; no one who sees him as worth helping. You go in, and buy nuts, granola bars, a packaged sandhich. Gloves. You take these outside and give them, and as you turn away I see that you are angry, because this shouldn't happen to anyone. People should never be left alone, left behind, feeling that they are nothing more than garbage. Feeling anger that there's so little that just one person can do, but must try, anyway.
I love you. I still miss being there to see who you are in these moments.
Anger at people who bicker and trade platitudes and argue semantics rather than taking action. We find a women's shelter, read their webpage, and find the list of things they need to help battered, abused women, who have had their lives and freedoms taken away from them, come to a space of healing. Gather back their life. We go to thrift stores to find clothes - nice clothes, suitable for a job interview - what they need most is the ability and the means to become self-sufficient again. We buy toiletries - shampoo and conditioner, a curling iron. And children's clothes, for the children who are now their responsibility alone, to make safe, and build a new life for.
Your frustration so often drives you into acts of compassion.
I love you for this. For so many things.
I love you for your convictions. Even those that meant we couldn't be together. For being true to them, and to yourself - I love you.
I think at times you are aware of these things. The things that you do, and what makes you someone who can't stand to stand by, where there is somrthing that really can be done.
Small things, So much more than small.
Giving assistance, sometimes grudgingly, because sometimes to give is to be taken advantage of. You are generous, but you are also intolerant of people who don't meet assistance with action of their own. You've been disappinted by people who take and take and take and never use what they're given in the way that will make their lives better.
And yet you still give. And you allow yourself those moments of surprised satisfaction that an act of compassion - an effort intended to help someone learn how to help themselves - actually pays off. I think you feel the surprise, but perhaps rarely process the part you played in bringing out that success.
I love you for being the one who helps, truly expecting nothing in return. Only that someone can recieve, and match that help to help themselves.
There are many other things. More reaons than I can list right now, because they are also true, but unrelated, connected only in that they are reasons why I still love you.
I hope someone tells you about who you are, in those moments when you forget. I hope you are with people who know you well enough to see your personal sinkholes, and hold out the branch that you can grasp to bring yourself up, and back to you agian.
I love you for those times you fall down, because you get back up again. I love you for your anger, because in this way, it comes from understanding. From wanting for things to change to be better.
I hope someone tells you these things about you. I hope you hear them often.
I love you too much for them.
And I make no apologies for that.
I miss who you are,
I miss all of you.
I miss you.