I am fully open to love, human and divine.
Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.
went to visit Paul I noticed the wedding pictures on his wall. He was one of the few men in the Alzheimer’s
unit and he was a flirt. He was good
looking, tall and lean and always had on a baseball cap. He was in the beginning stages and I could
easily have a conversation with him.
Then I also noticed the memorial card with what I guessed was his wife’s
name. I asked him if I were correct and
if the card referred to his wife. It
did. “Were you married a long
time?” I asked. I didn’t really
expect an answer. I was just making
years,” he replied. “Wow”
I responded, “that’s a long time.”
He came right back at me, “Not long enough!” That was several years ago but even as I
write this my heart aches and my eyes tear up.
“Not long enough.” What a lesson! It came at me like a speeding train and left
me dazed by the side of the tracks. Life
is precious and life for many is “not long enough.”
dear friends recently lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. It was a long, difficult battle. My friend lives in North Carolina but her
“mum” lived I England. She
would often fly over to visit and to care for her mother. When her mother was finally admitted to a
care facility, my friend would get up every morning she was there, take the bus
and spend the entire day visiting and helping with the other residents. The facility eventually offered her a
job. Her mother stopped recognizing her
daughter but one day she told my friend, “I don’t know who you are but I
know you love me very much.”
know you love me very much.”
“Not long enough.”
Words spoken emanating from a place deep within, nothing trite or
superficial. The murmurings of the
heart, not just of the mind. If I were
to look at my life today, search my soul, what heart murmurs would I hear? And if I lost my mind would the messages be
about love? I’ve dedicated this, my 68th
year, as The Year of Love.
church, the Catholic Church, dedicates each year to some worthy theme: The Year
of Faith or The Year of the Eucharist, etc.
Why not let it be an example for me and dedicate a year of my life to
some worthy concept? The Year of
Love! It’s my ultimate goal, to love
deeply, unconditionally, non-judgmentally and without attachment. It’s the work of a lifetime. It seems worthwhile and appropriate to take
at least a year and to focus on love.
Alzheimer story. In the video for the
song “Raymond” by Bret Eldridge an elderly woman has the mistaken
idea that the maintenance man is her deceased son, Raymond. The video shows that Raymond died in the
Vietnam War but Kathryn, the lady in the video, has no memory of that. Her memory only goes back to 1943. She’s a blessed woman. She appears comfortable in her surroundings
and the cleaning man is kind and gracious.
“I bring her morning coffee every day,” he sings. “Sometimes I find myself wishing I’d
been there.” He seems to love her,
this woman who believes he is her son.
He knows she loves him. It’s such
a small act of kindness but it’s such a grand act of love. The video reflects
love in its purest form. It seems to
seep from the page out into the room. I
never fail to weep when I watch it.
more important than creating a life filled with love? Once we can learn to accept love, we can more
generously give love. We may not like
everyone, that’s a given but it is possible to still love them or at least to
hold them in a space of love. You can
pray for your worst enemy and I don’t mean for evil to invade their lives. It is possible to find a place in our hearts
to ask for the best for everyone in the world, both those we find easy to love
and those who challenge us. Remember,
you can’t make your world any brighter by blowing out someone else’s
light. The heart is a muscle. If we want it to become strong and healthy,
we have to exercise it just like any other muscle.
my mind, which I must confess seems more threatening some days than others, I
want to know that my heart is still full of love and my body, my spirit is
filled with the blessings of a life filled with love. I want to live a life where I can say
“not long enough.” A life where
one day someone will look at me and say, “I know you love me.” Hopefully, they will also know who I am and I
will know who they are.