I was talking to my mom's sister about how none of them (the sisters) came to see my mom at the hospital when she was dieing, and how she was the only one in the whole family who came to the funeral, and how insane that seemed to me now. I mean, they were her sisters!
she had a lot of excuses, like how they didn't think she was going to die (denial), and that my mom had said she didn't want them to come (pride). and I told her I still thought it was crazy, and she said "well, it doesn't mean we didn't LOVE her."
I wish I'd had the courage to say, "actually, yes. It does mean you didn't love her." maybe if that had been the only thing they hadn't done, but it was a lifetime of no support, no commitment, no active care, only care when it was convenient.
love is not an undefinable thing. It has real meaning and I think it is important that we define it. I like how bell hooks does - even though sometimes her definitions makes me feel terrible, unloved. but clearer. I like her definition ... "we utilize all the dimensions of love -- "care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge", in the chapter Values: Living by a Love Ethic, in her All About Love book.