My cousin, who does not drink coffee, bought cereal. Attached was a free full-sized bag of coffee - new to the Trini market. She came over, bearing gifts of coffee and banana bread. More than the coffee, (very good btw) is the fact that she remembers that I drink coffee and came out of her house to bring me the bag. She’s unerringly, actively kind.
I’m pretty sure her first love language is acts of service. The love languages are useful. Also useful is figuring out what’s someone’s primary love antonym. For me “I’m here,” is almost synonymous with I love you. The opposite of love for me is abandonment. Unsurprising. I’m almost exactly as old now as my mother ever was. The child in me is terrified of losing the people I love most. I am more careful now of my loyalty than my temper, both of which are fierce, both of which I’ve learned to temper over time. Blindness in both is dangerous. People are people and despite their best intentions, sometimes people, people. We do what we said we’d never do. We don’t do what we said we would.
One of Father Deacons’ many (many, many) sayings is, "someone won’t grate against you unless you have something for them to rub on"…or something to that effect…(Many lectures were uttered to my carefully composed face, while my mind wandered far).
Because abandonment is a thing for me in a way that being afraid for my personal safety or feeling overlooked are not, “I’m here ” feels different to “You’re safe with me” or “I see you”.
My cousin's love antonym might be “I’m busy.”