Father’s Day always reminds me that Love can conquer all.
By the time I was 13 he’d had several strokes, and was soon diagnosed with Lou Gherig’s disease. He later lost the ability to speak. I’d come home from school and find him laying on the floor. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to help, and when he was finally admitted to the hospital, I went along too. They didn’t let kids visit on his floor, and the nurses told me I had to sit in the lobby. Yea right.
As soon as I saw the elevator doors close me from my Grandma’s sight, I loitered through the lobby, ducked around corners and ran up the stairway to the 5th floor room number I’d overheard. I looked down the corridor and was spotted by a nurse, who began walking toward me. Nope. I turned tail to run, and had only a few feet to go before I found him.
There Grindaddy lay in bed with his head and upper torso slightly elevated. I moved forward without hesitation into his room, with my eyes only on him. The moment he saw me, he made this noise I can hardly explain; a sort of yelp – one I clearly understood; a sound I cannot forget, one without vowel or consonant, and one that I cannot repeat – but wish I could hear again and again because I knew it meant he was glad to see me. His eyes were worried for me in the way that a parent IS when their child is to be first thrust into the world. He knew he would be leaving me soon, and didn’t want to go. With my bravest face, I told him without blinking not to worry – that I’d be ok. I held his hand, kissed his cheek and told him I loved him. I never saw him alive again.
Love is not for cowards, my friends. Love is for the brave.
The illusion of time has comforted me, and life has gone on. But the older I get, the more I value his memory. I am reminded of my own bravery – that because I was willing to punch through my own fear and risk hell from all angles to see him, Love won the day. It still can. Love is to be shared. Love never dies. It swirls and swirls beautifully, dancing around us and within us to be reborn as brand new Love.
Then it’s time to go, and Love some more.
From ‘A Woman of Purpose: Secure In Faith Through Difficult Times’
© Arkay Evans 2013