Friday, September 05, 2008


To begin with, he was frail. He walked carefully, setting each foot down as if unsure that the bones would continue to support him. He focussed forward, his eyes looking at his destination. This was a man who seemed to have lived his long, long, life pulled along by a goal's magnetic force. Beside him was his wife. She had a brace on her leg and her cane hung over her arm. Her hand was clasped in his, they were an single unit making their way along. As they passed me, I saw their hands. Together, clasped strongly together. It seemed to me that it would take something mightier than death to separate those two hands. His became strong in hers. Hers completed his. They walked slowley, but they walked together. Love embodied is so much more powerful than love spoken, don't you think.

She may have been 14, perhaps 15, but I'm woefully bad at guessing ages. I look in the mirror and guess my age at about 12, and I know I'm way off there. But let's just say, she looked to be in her teens. She was walking alongside her mother and they were laughing about something. You could tell that her mother had simply forgotten, for a moment, that her daughter had Down Syndrome. This is something that takes parents by surprise. When a child is born with a disability, the diagnosis is looked for in every movement in every moment. But over time the child becomes a child and long stretches of time can pass without even thought of difference. I could see this was one of those moments. Then, suddenly a group of teens comes out of the store. One of them calls the other a 'retard'. Mother notices. Daughter doesn't. For a second. The word flys again, daughter is struck. She reaches out and takes her mother's hand. They hold on tight. They don't slow down. They don't change course. They just hold on. Each hand supporting the other. Two become one. Each becomes stronger. Love embodied is in a way, I'm learning, love spoken.

They are doing repairs on the apartment building and the front driveway is cluttered with scaffolding and much of it is fenced off. Cars can no longer come into the driveway. So when I get off the elevator I push through the two doors and then down the driveway to the side of the road where Joe meets me with the car. It's a fair way and I'm proud that I do it on my own. Yesterday we had to leave early and I left the building with the superintendent. He noticed the traffic cones at the end of the drive way and clucked annoyance when he saw they were evenly spaced. 'I told them to leave room for a wheelchair between two of them,' he said. I then understood why there was always a larger space, one big enough for me to get through. I thought it had been accident. I didn't realize it had been kindness. Anyways, he rushed ahead rearrange them for me and I pushed down the driveway. I almost hurt myself rushing. I didn't want to keep him waiting. Joe pulled up and the three of us spoke as Joe went about his business of putting the wheelchair bag into the car. When I went to get up I noticed that the ground was rough in that area and, afraid of falling, I motioned for Joe to give me his arm. I reached up and took hold of his hand and got myself up. I noticed the super notice our hands. Together. Love embodied, I've learned, is love loud.


John R. said...

...thanks for the tears with my coffee this morning!!!

3 redemptive stories that all end with love...

I challenge all of the readers of this one that THEY ALL find one "loud" loving moment today. Not yesterday, but today. If we can all find more than one, great. But let's be on the lookout for at least one loving action or symbol such as you have described.

Please forgive me for posting an assignment to your readers Dave, but I feel that especially in today's climate (particularly here in the United States) we MUST love to survive and we need to take a little time today to find a moment to celebrate and describe just as you have done with the 3.

thank you.

lina said...

Beautiful post Dave.
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, I think I get to see 'loud' loving moments almost daily - either in the families I meet, or in my own life, through my kids or my family. My moment for today, (thus far), was walking my youngest to school and having the opportunity to catch up with him, quietly. Our walking and talking together for me gives me back all the stregnth drained from me from a week of long days.

theknapper said...

My eyes are teary too. Love is so powerful.

Kei said...

*smiling through tears*
Beautiful~ thanks Dave

Shan said...

It sounds like, grouchy neighbour aside, you lucked out with your building. I'd like to visit someday.

Anonymous said...

I wish for other the many moments of "loud" loving that I experience every day teaching my class. I am blessed by these children and their parents.

Anonymous said...

Here on the southside of the border there is so much ugliness, judgement, angst and disagreement in the news these days. I get addicted to it all, and then I dip into your blog for a moment of humanity. And you never disappoint. Thank you.

Rebecca said...

The Blossom


Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow

Near my bosom.


Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty, robin,

Near my bosom.

-----by maple story account

Caroline said...

You ratbag - that one had me filling up....