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Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Power of Love

By Jo Ann of Along The Way

I remember the first time I saw him. He was in the company of his mother, two sisters and a brother. They were all of the same age, though none were identical. They had all been born at home in varying time intervals over a period of quite a few minutes.

There was so much happening at the time, with so little help, that no one had been able to keep track of the order in which they were born. In the scheme of life, that bit of information didn't really seem to matter given what ultimately happened to the family. They never knew their father, nor he them. Their mother seemed nonplussed by that fact. They reflected her uncaring attitude and may never even have realized a father could be part of a family unit.

As time passed the family drifted apart, first one sister, the brother, and then his other sister left home. He was finally the only one remaining at home, alone with his mother. The brother and sisters never again had contact with him, or his mother, to the best of my knowledge.

Any sense of loss the son and his mother might have felt was not revealed. They proceeded with their usual activities. Then, one day, inexplicably, his mother left - just disappeared. He showed no signs of even noting her departure. He went about his business, was quite independent, though he clearly welcomed being given the opportunity to stay with us and have us provide his meals.

Considerably later, when any sorrow he might have felt had by then lessened, the unthinkable happened - his mother suddenly reappeared. She had a new family with her, but again no father, no distress at this apparent abandonment. I thought about what they all were missing.

Distressingly to me, the mother displayed less than warm, loving feelings toward her older son. She even kept him some distance from the new young family. I thought in time reconciliation might occur. But that was not to be.

One day in the early morning hours, sudden traumatic annihilating disaster descended on the new family and the mother's life ceased forever when she was attacked outdoors in a most brutal manner. The older son was inside the house at the time, and neither he nor we knew what had occurred until some hours later. Not only did his mother not survive, neither did any of his younger brothers and sisters for very long after her death.

Again, his feelings about this tragic outrage were hidden from all of us, but then there had been a lengthy estrangement between the two of them. He had long since been completely enclosed in the arms of our family, so our caring atmosphere may have protected him from any pain he might otherwise have felt with this final, clearly permanent loss, of his mother, along with any semblance of family he ever knew.

Our family openly, reassuringly and lovingly offered him our continued caring. We provided him a home, food, medical care, embracing him as one of our own. He returned our affection with a multitude of small actions and gestures. Of course, there was one incident when we became very angry at his totally inappropriate behavior in our guest bedroom, but we later learned this was attributable to a medical problem.

We felt badly that we had behaved so poorly toward him at the time. In retrospect, I realize he probably had difficulty understanding our change in attitude toward him then. But once we knew the nature of his problem, were able to get him treatment, we did our best to redeem ourselves in his eyes.

His life was of lengthy duration, rich in experience as he traveled across the country with us, living for a time in a desert climate, then later to the west coast. Our lives were enriched for his having been a part of our family.

Our actions toward him through his life's years at least partially accounted for the fact that he thrived as he did, gave so much pleasure to our family, I believe. His mere presence, demonstrated that empowering love that flowed as revitalizing unseen energy between us, each time we stroked his furry body and he gently rubbed responsively against us in tandem with a purr that seemed to motorize his movements.

When his health deteriorated beyond his ability to recover we all cried, but each of us was bound together by that invisible ray of energized memory that is the power of love.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:15 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Very clever story with a surprise ending. I loved it.

Great story telling. I loved the end, and had to read it over again with the new perspective.

I love your last paragraph.

This is lovely!

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