When Love Is The Only Way

IMG-20160430-WA0011My mother’s ailing health is proving to be one of the most powerful learning experiences of my life. Yesterday was a difficult day for her; she seemed better this morning and even found the strength to wash the breakfast dishes, only to regress moments later. I sat down by her side on her walker to keep her company; I could see her distress and did not want to leave her on her own.

She drifted off and closed her eyes momentarily, quickly opening them saying…”I’ve been a smart woman, haven’t I? In my life…I’ve done well?”

“Yes you were very smart! You accomplished everything you wanted to do! Everything you set your mind on doing you did. Yes, you are a very smart woman!”  She went on to tell stories of her accomplishments as a child and later in Canada.

How do you tell a woman who knows perfectly well that she is living the last of her days on this earth that she has accomplished enough? How do you reassure her that she has been courageous enough, kind enough, loving enough, and generous enough? How do you tell her that she is ENOUGH?

I think it is simply….”Thank You. I Love You!”

 

 

WHEN LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY

I know how much you loved school and learning

how quick you were with math and writing.

You excelled in your studies and flourished.

In the third grade you gladly gave it up

knowing it was time to help on the farm.

You did it for the love of your family; it was your only way.

 

You learned to spin flax into thread

that you wove into cloth on the loom.

Embroidery, knitting and tatting

were done by the light of the petroleum flame.

You were tired, working all day in the fields but persisted.

You did it for the love of your family, it was your only way.

 

When love came to call you married and left

the bosom of your family.

You began a new life in your husband’s household

and gave it all you had.

When your husband was called to war

you remained to help on the farm.

You did it for the love of your family; it was your only way.

 

Opportunity knocked with a chance at a better life.

Again you left the bosom of your family.

Across the Atlantic you sailed, two children in tow

and a trunk with your only possessions.

You did it for the love of your family; it was your only way.

 

Slowly you built a new life

with hope and determination.

No stranger to hard work you excelled,

your dream house in Canada, a reality.

You did it for the love of your family; it was your only way.

 

You lost your life’s partner to illness.

The last third of your life you spent in our home;

our attempt to keep a promise to our father.

However, it could not be done…

for you took care of us instead.

 

You asked if you were smart enough…

in your life, if you did well enough…

You did it for the love of your family; it is your only way.

Who could deny that you were enough

when love is the only way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antonia

Leave a Reply