Anywhere Is Everywhere

The babies seemed to cause more pain than the elders
Not even I could sit with the babies, their mothers or fathers

Maybe I told you before, but if not, the ones awake, and opting out of medication were the most present, grateful, and opinionated. They were like children who would laugh about the sunshine, and seconds later cry about the clouds. They would talk about beautiful outdoor landscapes, and seconds later cry about the loudness of the gardener’s lawnmower. They would tell me a funny story about their parents or children, and seconds later cry about how much they missed them.

One time, a woman asked me to lean in real close, so she could whisper to me how much she loved her husband in the other room, but when he returned to check on her, she would treat him like a servant and scream for more tea, crumpets, or something dainty like that. Inside I laughed, wondering if he knew how much she claimed to love him. But when he walked out she called me back over. She said she screamed at him to keep him busy, cause her being sick was killing him, and she didn’t want him to die along with her. I hugged him a second longer that day, and let go right as the tears begin to fill his eyes and fall from mine.

She was like a baby and an elder to me, and he was the only one that didn’t have the strength to call. He texted me in the middle of the night to tell me she died peacefully in his arms. I never texted him back. I didn’t know how, and wasn’t prepared to study or learn. I only knew how to show up and give hugs, so when she died I stopped visiting the elders.

I cried today, because Mom is sick, and cause I can’t hold her like I’m sure she’s never been held. All I could do was show up and give hugs. I returned home feeling sorrowful, realizing how so many never get held quite right, or by arms they can feel safe taking their final breath in. Intellectually I know that isn’t meant to be everyone’s fate, but surviving on mindful detachment sometimes wears thin.

On the positive side, showing up with presence often times makes a difference to others that you may never be privy to. So if you can, do that wherever you are, in whatever way feels right to you, confident that love anywhere is a gift everywhere.

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