Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life. ~Charles Dickens
Effects of time cannot be predetermined. The body might fall apart while others lose their grip on reality. We become mere ghosts of who we once were. How sad and frustrating it must be to him whose body cannot function to the will of the mind.
I visited this past weekend with my one hundred-plus year old friend. She told me she can’t see, hear, or taste these days and goes sometimes a full week without human contact. She is still sharper and wittier than most people half her age on a good day! She said when she starts thinking and gets depressed, she reminds herself of the long and blessed life she’s lived. She’s traveled to several countries, met people from all over the world, and had her share of beaus in her time.
When people’s bodies fail them, we often assume their minds have as well. But even if their minds are altered, I can’t imagine they cease to feel. Touch, love from another, has proven to keep many hanging on. It’s comforting to think in dire circumstances those unable to communicate respond to touch and love.
When my son was on a ventilator and we were still unaware of the extent of brain damage. We held onto him, massaged him, squeezed his hands, kissed him, talked to him, and sent him our own energy for healing. We let all of his friends into ICU. We wanted him to feel the energy of the love in which he was surrounded. God works in mysterious ways. Before he ever spoke or made any physical motions, he squeezed our hands in return, and gripped our hands when we tried to pull away to allow someone else to enter. On an unconscious level I think he felt and heard everything though he remembers very little.
This week it seems death has lingered. It passed by some, and took others. I have no explanation for those chosen. Both life and death are filled with lessons; lesson of living, lessons of dying, and lessons of loving. May we each take what we learn and apply it to making the best of the days we have left.
I believe in touch. I believe in the power of love. I am a hugger. If I make you uncomfortable, I apologize; but I’ll never apologize for loving you.