It is said we all die two deaths. One is the physical one, and the other comes on the last day that someone ever thinks of you or speaks of you or remembers who you are. When I first read this it struck me as inspiration to live a life worthy of memory, worthy of being tenderly held in the minds and hearts of others. But what I have found is a deep understanding of how people who have made an impact in my life are carried on, and on, and on.
Two days ago we were setting up for me to do two workshops for people with intellectual disabilities in Glasgow. The last think I was thinking about was home and the family of my youth. But, I rolled over to the treat table, before others arrived, just to see what was there. They had these little donuts, chocolate covered, and they were so cute. Wee tiny donuts. I took one.
Back at the presentation table I popped it in my mouth. And the flavour of the donut immediately threw me back in time, to when I was a child, when I was in Grandma Hingsburger's house. She made donuts. No chocolate covered ones, just plain donuts and they tasted just the same as the one I just had. Immediately she was alive to me, immediately I felt the warmth of her presence and the security of being with someone who loved me.
I loved Grandma Hingsburger.
I had told Joe that for a couple of days I was really battled anxiety. I've be plagued with it all my life. It had eaten some of the joy and fun that we were having on the weekend. It placed itself in the center of my chest and it refused to move. I knew they was no reason for it, but things like this don't respond to logic.
But it couldn't stand up to Grandma, not for a second. As I turned to my notes, as I ready myself, as I felt Grandma recede in my mind as work needed to come to the fore, it was gone.
She lived again.
This is the power of love, it allows you to live on and on and on in someone's heart. I'm glad she has residence in my heart, I'm glad that I had her and I'm glad that I have her in my life.
I owe her for her love and for her creating a safe place for me to be, and I love her for it. Memory is little enough payment for that, she is a light load to carry.
Love lives long.