People think that love is merely an emotion.
Love is not just an emotion.
Love is power.
Watching my dad slowly die made realize this.
Each day I watch him being stripped, little by little, of life’s pleasures.
One by one they disappear.
Even the simple things we so often take for granted are now gone.
Even watching TV has become a challenge.
It’s unbearable to witness.
I’ve never felt more powerless than when faced with the reality that there’s nothing I can ever do to replace what he’s lost.
The best I can do is make him smile.
It seems like such a small contribution.
A friend recently told me that studies have been done demonstrating the value in bringing children to Senior Citizen Homes. It has been proven that children lift spirits.
I’ve been reluctant to bring my kids to visit my dad. In the past 7 months, I’ve seen sights I’ll never unsee; heard cries I’ll never unhear; and smelt odors I’ll never unsmell.
I’d rather my kids hold on to the happier memories of him.
But the conversation with my friend inspired me to record video greetings from my kids to my father.
While it’s not anywhere near a replacement, it does bring happiness.
His face lights up watching them.
And in his his smile I get a glimpse of the father I once knew.
But moments of joy are sapped by thoughts of the day when his smile is taken.
What will I have to offer then?
On the way back home from a recent visit, feeling weak and powerless, it occurred to me that there is one thing I have total control over.
And, that is my love.
And that is one thing that no one – not even the universe – can never take from him.
Love is my power.
And my gift.