I just read that a petition I signed regarding a 92 year old ailing grandmother not be forcibly removed from the care of her daughter in the UK due to an immigration technicality has caused a halt to proceedings, which will now be reviewed. She’ll now be able to remain in the UK under her daughter’s care rather than being shipped off to South Africa where she has no friends, family or means of support due to having lived in the UK most of her life. The news came on mothers day. What a happy gift for a mother!
Sunlight glistened on the petals, once her skin had been soft like that, now it was mottled with brown, wrinkled, old. Work had roughened her fingers as care had worn grooves in the once pristine brow.
She chuckled to herself remembering summer days, moonlit nights, of long ago. The years had taken their toll on her; she’d paid the annual tithes of age, now her account was all but empty, little remained of strength or beauty. Yet as age took its yearly toll something had been added, a divine sweetness, long brewed it her heart, burst forth in song as a rare and precious vintage. As flesh slowly withered youth returned, eternal within, a song of love ever new growing in potency.
The hands folded in prayer as she walked amidst the flower gardens wondering at their beauty.
“Mother Teresa!” a young voice sounded, face alight with joy. Bending to embrace the running child ancient arms embraced the future.
Tears of a different sort welling up. This month began with a wedding, with definable rows in chapel pews and glorious reception tables. There were tears there, rejoicing in their love.
These tears are more difficult to define. They come in a circle gathered together, inclusive, the object of the tears unseen. Again I watch a life’s story as photos flash upon a screen, a tall wiry frame, large eyes and over sized smile brimming with fun, engaging, inviting, accepting of all that ventured across his path.
His bride sits alone now, remembering. I hear confided whispers of her excitement on their wedding day. She couldn’t wait to marry this tall, gangly man with the big smile. You couldn’t call him good looking. He certainly wasn’t rich or famous, but he knew how to love without conditions. Though he knew our faults his love was so big it overshadowed them.
I heard of his children, no carers here had overseen his last fleeting moments, too precious to be shared with a nurse. His family had rotated 24/7, his children assisting in those most intimate acts he could no longer perform, a wayward son cradling him in his arms as he had once been cradled.
As I listened, taking in the moist eyes of others, I thought about life’s goals. This was how I wanted it to be at my memorial. His goal had been to love and he had achieved it.
The tears were not of sadness, though he would surely be missed. Like the fresh patter of rain washing away the dust and dirt of life, they cleansed our hearts and renewed our vision. I envied his wife to have known the love of such a man every day of her life.