"The gift of love is the true inheritance of our hearts. We carry it with us every day. And we pass it on, just as it was given to us."
I've always hated this photo of me, but love it of Patt. Seeing it reminds me of many things about my wedding on December 15, 1984: the beautiful dress that a close friend's sister gave me(a size 2 though instead of my normal 4, so I had to starve myself!), the wonderful cake that another friend made as her gift to us, the fact that we should NEVER have allowed icky BIL to take our wedding photos...Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Patt's death and I'm overcome once again by the reality of his loss, the absence of his quirky grin, his energy and spontaneity, his pride in and support of his family, as well as his unconditional love and acceptance. He never left the house in the morning for work or went to sleep without a kiss, in spite of not being a super demonstrative guy. He felt like he let us down by getting cancer; he had always been there when we needed him, but he eventually became too weak and had to depend on us. That is love though, the true kind, when the weak become the strong and the roles reverse; we were at his side to hold him up as he had always done for us. The gift of love is also when friends send cards, text to make sure I have plans for tomorrow(Book Club), invite me to a Happy Hour, schedule a coffee date with me. I was overwhelmed(in a positive way) to open a card from my friend Tonya's cousin; she reads my blog, yet she's a complete stranger. And she had written me the most beautiful and heartfelt message, as well as sending me a Starbucks card. Then tonight a gymnastics acquaintance invited me out for dinner to find out more about Patt; she only knew him through equipment set up and meets. She's been fascinated by the memories and photos I've been posting on Facebook, so she wanted to hear more about the non-gymnastics dad Patt. :) Every time I feel depressed about my husband's siblings and their lack of empathy or support, I'll try to focus on these loving and sensitive people in my life. And all around me, I see others I care about dealing with this beautiful struggle we call life: fighting cancer, caring for loved ones who are, reeling from the loss of a 29 year old brother on Thanksgiving and experiencing unspeakable tragedies. I am not alone in my grief and fear.
"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch
that she feels bending beneath her,
still she sings away
all the same,
knowing that she has wings."