Why should I be so surprised that my friends love me as much as I love them? I've always believed, and have said in this journal, that I believe that the reason I'm basically a happy, optimistic person is because I was raised in a home where I knew I was loved, and where I was validated. So I do know that I'm loved. I just had no clue how much, and by how many people.
What my friend said to me forced me to turn it around and think, "Hey Dummy, how would I feel if he or his girlfriend had cancer?" I'd be crushed, of course. Devastated. That helps me to process the love, realizing that if the shoe were on the other foot, I'd be feeling about you the way you feel about me.
I must be pretty dense to just be realizing this now, after 60 years on this planet. Maybe it's because I never had kids, so I never learned the Barney song. "I love you, you love me...." Sorry for that ear worm! Now that I think of it, that may very well be one reason why I'm having trouble receiving all of this love. Maybe having kids helps you learn to do that.
I still feel overwhelmed, and probably will for a while. But I'm starting to get it. So to all of you here reading this, please know that I love you as much as you love me. If I can ever be there for you the way you've been there for me, I will.