Later, while emptying her bags of clothes into commercial dryers, Russell begins to feel very lonely. "If I were worth loving, wouldn't there be a man standing there with me? Some brave guy who would wear his bites stoically . . .?"
Then she recalls a loving gestures her father had made years before in Baltimore, at family crab feasts. "When I was too young to pick crabs myself, my father would sit next to me and share his, extracting the flesh from the backfin for me and saving the tougher leg meat for himself. The backfin, as any Marylander can tell you, is the best part of the crab; giving your backfin to someone else is the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate expression of love."
Russell cried, "I caught a glimpse of what it might look like to live a life devoid of that kind of unconditional love . . ."
I am inspired by Russell's courage as she tells the world about her vulnerabilities: bedbug bites on her body, boyfriendless state of being and, fear of living apart from unconditional love.
I am also thankful that Russell knows unconditional love. She doesn't just believe in it or hope for it. She has experienced unconditional love and can choose to grow its direction.