I received an email this week that told the following story:
An elderly gentleman in his 80's was in a rush to get to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. She no longer knew who he was and in fact she had not recognized him for the last five years.
He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.”
That is the kind of love I want in my life. The kind of true love that is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
I also remembered my mother’s mom who had cancer that spread to her brain which caused her to suffer severe dementia as the cancer ate away at her short-term and then long-term memory. It wasn’t unusual for her to welcome you many times during a one-hour visit as if you just walked in the door. She just wasn’t able to retain the memory of your arriving. During one such visit, I watched my mother say “Hi Mom, nice to see you,” with patience, grace, understanding and love each of the dozen or so times Grandma greeted us. In that hour, my mom taught me that love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be in a way I will not easily forget.
About the pictures:
North Park (August 2002)