In the early years of our relationship my husband and I shared a twin bed. We were young and poor and in love.
I never remember thinking that we needed a new or bigger bed though. Instead, the two of us, both college athletes with larger frames and long limbs found a way to fit together without falling off the bed. I’d lay on my side, head resting on his shoulder. He laid flat on his back, one of his legs flopped over my waist.
It was the perfect amount of space to rest and be next to each other.
The weight of his leg on me was comforting; like a weighted blanket that brought warmth and comfort.
Years passed and as our family of two grew to be a family of eight we graduated from a twin to a full to a queen and now a California king.
We have always allowed our children to sleep with us when they were little. My husband and I often on opposite sides of the bed, but we still love to be touching when we fall asleep. I stretch one of my legs across the bed so that our feet are touching.
Each of our children, during their perspective years in our bed, always slept closest to me. Each of our six children have always flopped one leg over my waist.
For the last 12 days I’ve sat bed side to my mother on what are some of her last days on Earth. I’ve gone home late in the night on several occasions.
A few nights ago at nearly 1:00 in the morning I collapsed into bed, exhausted. Tears dried in my puffy eyes. Our littlest was already sleeping in her spot beside me. As I laid there on my side, running through the day’s conversations and events a little leg landed over me.
It immediately sent a calming sensation through me. My shoulders fell away from my ears, I took a deep breath and was at comfort. I smiled at the weight of her love.
Suddenly, I remembered laying in a bed 27 or so years ago. I was on my side and my mom all around me. I had been living away from her and recently had been reunited with her. My dad was not living with us at the time and so my mom would take turns letting my sisters and I sleep with her at night.
After living away from her for so long I was desperate to feel her love and being cuddled up in her bed with her on those nights made my heart happy and I did feel the weight of her love in every ounce of her arms wrapped around me.
Remembering it now as an adult fills my eyes with tears and is very deeply felt in my chest. It is a really beautiful memory.
I think that experience with my mom is why I’ve always felt so much comfort from the blanket of legs my husband and children have draped over me the past 19 years.
There is no way to measure the weight of love, it can only be felt.