Wow I am having trouble believing that I have been silent for the last 4 months. So many things have moved in and through my life at times I felt I was not keeping up with them, and most likely I wasn't!
It is the New Year and I found myself focussed on Love this New Year, not really a specific type of love; more that no matter what trials some people endure they continue to choose love. They continue to choose kindness... compassion, and genrosity.
I wanted to share a moment in my life today with you, just to spread the incredible awareness and peace that settled into my heart center today.
I was working with my last patient of the day, lets say his name is Ralph, he is in his mid 70's. He smells of mechanic oil and dirt and it fills my nostrils... he is a hard worker I can tell by the dirt resting beneath his fingernails. He is dressed in layers of clothing today due to the chill in the air sporting a flannel shirt, jeans, with a very large old and worn belt buckle, I imagine to myself it must have been from some type of rodeo riding event in the far past of his life. His gray hair is thick and wavy curling around his face and his mustach is long, manicured just enough but not enough to look pretentious, just enough to make life easier. His voice is gravelly, evidence of years of a smoking habit. At this point I ask him if he has ever been a smoker... This moment started no differently than any other moment for me each day as I take vital signs and personal information from the clients coming into the clinic. Ralph was a kind enough man, and as always I avoid much eye contact so as not to encourage much talking because the doctors are on time schedules....
Something in the way his voice cracked and raised an octive made me want to take my eyes away from the computer screen, but I held them still allowing him to move through whatever emotion had come up for him... So often I leave rooms with patients crying after they have told me some very detailed very personal story of loss and pain... I believe the doctors may think I torture these people! As I find myself not wanting to interupt the sensitive moment Ralph has I can not help but look into his beautiful somewhat faded blue eyes, Ralph has on a baseball cap, how could I have missed the incredible blue of his eyes before. Ralph began to tell me that he stopped smoking in 2005, the same year his wife died.
He held his breath, the room filled with a sadness and a need to communicate and I allowed myself to become the person I am... I asked why he stopped smoking when his wife died. He began to tell me that she had never liked him smoking, that she loved him far too much to want him to be unhealthy. Ralph said "I didn't listen to her, I always smoked outside because it bothered her so much... but I never listened. I am sure that her life would have been much easier if I had not spent my time and money on smoking; I have often wondered why God took such a perfect woman and left me..." His words trailed off into the space between us. I remained motionless and continued to look into the eyes of this man becoming really in love with his story and with the depth of feeling it was evident this man still has for his deceased wife.
Ralph then explained that he and his wife were married for 18 years and "We never had a foul word spoken between the two of us, never. Some people just don't believe me when I say that, but it is true not one time did we ever argue, she was the most perfect woman God ever put on this planet. She wasn't so much to look at, but she was really the greatest woman ever." Ralph's voice began to crack a bit more and the tears welled up inside his eyes, "I thought it would be easier to be without her as the years have gone by, it isn't, it really isn't, I have wanted to stop missing her I just can't." Ralph smiles nervously at me as a tear rolls down his left cheek. "I must take after my mother you know, she said that I should never be afraid to cry, she said tears cleanse the soul; I think my mother was a very wise woman." I nod in agreement. I murmur something about scientific experiments with tears and that they can tell what emotion is felt by the chemical composition of the tears, Ralph says, "Well that is really interesting. You know she and I were together for 18 years, we were both married twice before, but we both thought that the third time had to be the charm!" Ralph put a little more ooooomph into the last statement and smiled widely at me. "We used to go out to the farm you know and we would pick a bushel of peas and a bushel of beans and sit together in the middle of the living room shelling them and getting them ready to eat," he paused... "You know she really was a great woman."
My heart was aching for this man I had never seen before, I wanted to offer comfort, I wanted to know that he would have peace, I wanted to know that I could one day have the kind of love that Ralph had found with his wife. I think that Ralph knew that, I think that in some way Ralph understood that I needed to hear his words as much as he needed to share them. He said to me as I finished up taking his information, "Dont you give up, don't you ever give up. Love is there and it is waiting to be found, it is there for you; it was there fore me." I stand up at this point making my way to the door and he says it again.... "Don't give up." His face is wet with tears again and without any control at all, I turn and look at him and feel my heart jump up into my throat, Choking the words out I say, "Ralph I don't think I will ever forget you, thank you." Then I leave the room.
This moment took all of about 7 minutes of my time in the day. It shook my foundation, it was a direct message to me through one of the many Angels that God has placed on the planet to remind us that we are just never alone. I find myself believing that somewhere there really is a love that time will stop and lay down for.... just like the line in the movie Practical Magic. I find myself feeling hope, feeling humble, and feeling thankful that Ralph wandered into the office on the very day that I would be working with him... and here I sit in awe because this was just a 7 minute moment I wanted to share... just so that others could bear witness not only to Ralph's suffering but even greater his incredible love.
Thank you for listening!