Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Through The Shatterings

It was almost two years ago that I lost my Mom to the dreaded illness of cancer. She suffered long in silence and by the time we realized she was not well she was far past any medical help that we were aware of.
She lived a strong and family oriented life and gave up everything she could otherwise aspire in this life for her own children, home and generations to come. She was a very brilliant woman. Well read, well informed, and very mechanically and logically minded. She learned to cook like a Chef in those early years and she honed that skill over years of Sunday dinners and Holiday gatherings.
My Mom was married for over 55 years to her only husband, my Dad who truly was not the easiest man to live that long with. They had a less than perfect marriage but she stayed. He stayed. They argued and had issues that even the best of us would have given up and left that relationship in the dust. Their children often wondered why they were still together. Their unhappiness was openly apparent.
At the hospital in those few last days....I saw my Mother and Father come together with a hand clasp and a kiss that sent me out of the room, tears streaming and unable to even understand the picture before me. Why now? After all those years....why then?
Love takes all forms and in the final acts, the final seasons of life it springs from withered rose petals and wrinkled paper to something that was always there underneath the nettles and weeds that pricked and drew blood. It was this way for my parents. I never would have thought there was any love there at all. I rarely if ever saw any outward signs of affection and never heard the words that one would whisper tenderly to one's beloved. It was all about staying together for us, us kids......our interests....
On this Valentine's Day I find myself reminiscing of past events in my parent's lives....I wonder if it was only about us....in my self-absorbed little world could there have been something that flickered between them to have them endure such a difficult and tumultuous relationship?
I cling to that.....I see my Dad wither each day, each week, each month.....lost in his frail body and mind and wonder if he is lost without her. His life, his wife....his beloved. I wonder if he waits and longs for his reunion with her.....I pray he does and that it is a joyous one!