So much has happened this past week that it’s hard to focus on any one thought for more than a moment. I lost a parent just days ago, my step-father to be exact. His health had been poor for quite some time. Part of the sadness comes from the fact that a decision had to be made on whether to keep him on life support or remove it and allow him to decline at will. It was a unanimous decision that he be removed from life support because no one wanted to see him go on suffering with no quality of life.
The thing that was the most amazing about all of this was not the fact that we were all in agreement on something, but what was amazing was the healing that would soon transpire among the family members present that day. Some of us had not spoken in years; however, because of the love we shared for my step-father, along with the shared desire to see him no longer suffering, a peace that surpasses all understanding was present as we took turns talking, praying and bringing comfort and love to his bed side during his last hours. This was unquestionably, one of the most trying experiences one could ever have, yet we all parted with a new found love and awareness of the wounds that were miraculously healing because each of us surrendered our resentment to let love find it’s ways and bring peace to a barren and broken place.
The love and compassion that we often show our relatives because a family member is dying should not only be shown for the moment, it should be an engrained part of the fabric that makes up each day of our lives together. The odds for most families in our shoes are high that we will fall back into the same patterns and never speak again. It will be only by the determination of our hearts and the love that we allow ourselves to release that we will continue to see that same healing power at work in our lives continuously. There is always a greater purpose than just ourselves to band together without allowing our own pride and self-indignation to get in the way. That greater purpose is L-O-V-E. We invest so much time preparing the next generation to have successful careers, but invest little to nothing teaching them how to love, value, and preserve the root of their family so that the strength of the family tree will live on. This would be why, sadly, so many families are broken apart.
It was like my father was sending a love letter straight to our hearts as he departed from this earth in the hopes of bringing about the joy and peace among his family that, for so long was missing. I’m just glad that we each had the ears to hear his letter, and I only hope that we will have the hearts to continue carrying it out.
“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”
~ Mother Teresa