My mom and dad have never slept in the same room for as long as I can remember. I grew up thinking that this was normal with every family. The mom and dad slept in their own rooms, or in our case, one was in the bedroom and the other one slept in the den.
I have seen my parents kiss twice. They have hugged each other...perhaps, a dozen times that I can recall.
My parents were even less demonstrative with us kids. No one said, "I love you" until I started saying it at the end of our phone calls when I was away at college. Then they would say it back to me...probably to be polite.
Two months ago I was in my kitchen eating breakfast and reading the newspaper. Mom walked in and hugged me from behind...and then planted a kiss on my head. She had never, ever done that in my entire life. Her hug sparked an inner fusion throughout my body. It was as if someone doused me with a bucket of warm love. It just spread throughout me.
So now, every night when I tuck mom into bed, I give her a hug and kiss. She sobs every time I do this...and she says, "Oh Jill. Don't leave me." I do my best to comfort her by holding onto the hug until she lets go of me. I brush the hair off her face and tell her to let it out - cry until there are no more tears.
And my heart breaks while she sobs, because I realize that she has been love-starved for her entire life. Until now.