If there’s one sentence I’ve attempted to integrate into my life since a very young age, it is a sentence my mom has thrown at me and handed me and left at the dining table quite a few times. Although I’ve kicked around the sentence for a couple of decades before tonight’s collection of targeted rational thoughts, and I certainly do not want you to do the same, I would very much like for you to read the sentence and pause to think about it before reading my thoughts on it.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
The first thing I love about the quote is the fact that it uses an apostrophe correctly. But really, my mother would use that sentence whenever we messed up and she had made us feel horrible about it. She was brilliant at making us feel like we had disappointed her. But whenever she succeeded, this odd look would come over her and her voice would get funny and she’d say that. She meant it with every fiber of her being.
This sentence became an important piece of my definition for love. When I was married I used it a few times and was chided as being foolish, naive and uncaring. To this day, sorry is not a word I am good at. I understand that the words come of as unfeeling, but the spirit behind them is so very different.
The times I’ve used that statement I meant:
Please don’t say you’re sorry. If you say it, you will break my heart again. Whatever just happened, you broke my heart and you want to apologize. You want me to forgive you, but I can’t. There’s no way I will ever believe you meant to hurt me. There’s no way I will blame you for the pain, even though I just did. I am done. I am over it. I believe you love me deeply enough that you thought you were doing the right thing. You are forgiven. I love you. Just don’t ask me for more words now.
It’s such a simple statement to be so heavily loaded, yet it is. I finally watched the movie that introduced the statement. I actually had no idea it was from a movie until tonight. I am not sure that everything those words mean to me were conveyed in the movie, but they did a pretty decent job of communicating the message. Regardless, I hope the words live on and spread. I hope the idea becomes part of what love is to everyone else. Most importantly I hope the next woman I fall in love with understands. I hope my friends understand.
At least I know my family understands.