Love is savoring one M&M for minutes. Reaching into the porcelain bowl by his bed and choosing which color matches the mood. Today is blue.
Love is the pleasing impact when the hard shell crunches and shatters, with slight pressure, once it breaks open, dissolving, making way for the chocolate, that heats up and melts, spreading its goodness, rolling itself over all the ridges, like velvet feels or a river does.
The more still he is, the deeper his breath, the longer it lasts.
Love is knowing that there might not be more M&Ms. That all that we have is now, this meditation, this breath, this tether of a treat holding us in time.
Love is knowing that this is a skill that my dad has mastered. How to stretch time. How to create something from near nothing. And forever a teacher, this is one of his final lessons for me.
Love is that the taste of morphine and haloperidol and oxy and Ativan and all of the other things that we keep syringing in him for comfort, that the only thing that seems to wash them down is a single M&M.
Love is just one. Working on it, until it’s a tiny spec on the tongue, almost as small as a tastebud that is all lit up from an experience, a life, a thing that reminds us that it’s still here, working hard, translating pleasure from one sense to the next, like a baton of joy, finishing the race, seeing the finish line, or is it the starting line.
What happens though, when he can no longer swallow?
What happens though, when he can no longer breathe?
What does love look like then?