An older lady, diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability and many other health concerns was reclined in her reclining chair, watching the local news…as she purposefully relieved the swelling in her left foot; when I came in.
We reviewed her past goals and expectations for the upcoming year, as normal.
Having known her for just a short while, I tried to clear the silence and asked her how her boyfriend was doing and if they’ve been hanging out as usual. She very casually, as if I asked her what the weather was or what color shirt she was wearing at the time…
…She mentioned her boyfriend recently passed away.
She proceeds to fiddle through her cluttered purse, very quietly, without discussion; she pulled out a wallet sized card from his funeral.
The card had as many wrinkles and warn lines as she had in such a short time. On the front, was a picture of a dove flying through the sky, with a date and a poem on the back. She begins explaining how she has all his things, pictures, and keepsakes his family let her keep. She then points to a picture so delicately placed on the mantel with the two of them smiling; with her walker and his cane in the opposite hand, they stand holding each other; smiling.
I also smile, reciprocating the energy I felt in the picture…as I glance away I notice her simultaneously clutching a pendant on a necklace around her neck. The necklace was tied to what seemed like a shoelace or simply a thick string.
I ask her passively, what are you holding?…She responds, even more sure than the first time, “they put a little of his ashes in here,” “he’ll be with me forever.”
This stuck with me.
At 8:30 pm…3 hours past the time I am supposed to get off of work, their story is what stuck with me.
Two human beings that have been deemed incapable of work, unable to live on their own during their adult years,…seemingly not having the mental capacity to choose a religion, drive, marry, raise children,…not able to cook, clean, or fend for themselves, and two completely different races.
Could have such a vast ability to Love.
They loved each other.
During this brief moment even after he has gone, I could feel the love they had for each other. Their love was Strong.
Their Love surpassed shadowed dates and sporadic meetings; unplanned surgeries and diagnosis, families not quite comprehending and others trying to dilute what they shared.
They loved each other un-apologetically.
I’m sure they didn’t understand each other all the time.
I’m sure everything didn’t always feel good.
I’m sure they wished they could do more or had more or shared more together.
But from different homes, with different people around them all the time;
They loved each other.
And now past death, she still loves.
That. Is. Love.
That. Is. Beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your Love with me.
–Inspired by Ms.L.L. and the late Mr……