Who are you?
I sit here contemplating my former self, I made no qualms, I made no waves and always had a smile to give or perhaps a smirk, but that seemed so distant and I now long to have done things differently. That was then and the now, the now is a new man, one who has been hurt, but one who has also been loved. As they say "No pain, no gain."
I remember building those walls, that shell of which I laid my defense. It seemed only so justified back then, after all who wants to be hurt by those we love or befriend? After a while it just came naturally, never letting anyone get close enough to see your failures or your fears, then again no one was to know of your personal triumphs either. You thought you had everything planned and you seemed to yourself so intelligent, nothing would ever topple your sturdy walls.
Along comes love. With reckless abandon, this new feeling all but ruins the outer shell in no time at all. The inner defenses are still in place though and they will be more than adequate to stave off any imagined or real assault. What ruin could be brought via this love, so much time was vested in the force field of apprehensiveness and now almost gone. Whittling away at secrets, love has conquered and the "beans are spilt," divulged without consideration of reciprocity of personal skeletons or even future spite should things go awry.
But from those beans, a new beginning can emerge.
Ready, Set, Grow
A time to laugh, a time to cry. Head to head and toe to toe, life can be harsh. For a man/woman when we experience frustrations, hardships and loss or when we have a time of abundant health, blessed and desiring to share on a personal level those negatives and positives, we seek a friend.
That friendship begins through some sort of attraction, perhaps a mutually shared feeling or a like or dislike of a place, time, thing etc. Then after a while and if conditions are favorable, a relationship emerges. The emotion brought about by this sort of relation, love, can get so strong as to make you grieve in the absence of each another's company. I've seen this to the third degree, a husband and his wife, over many years they grew and developed a bond of trust, a bond that was perhaps as unbreakable as any bond ever could or would be. That couple, of whom I will always admire, even through tragedy, displayed love triumphantly till the end of their lives.
I knew not much of this couple, except that she, attended the church I had started to visit. As I continued my worship and fellowship there, eventually I met her husband. Though this couple may have been lacking to some extent financially, they had filled their love accounts to the fullest possible limit. You may be asking "how do I know this?" Well a couple years ago, they had been involved in an auto accident and though the accident had not been life threatening, as time went on the injuries they had sustained from the crash began to manifest themselves as menacing. They were not a young couple, in their seventies, they had seen and done many things together and they had also experienced the waning of their youth and the health issues that can arise from aging.
It had come to my attention that she had had to go to the hospital, due to complications of dizziness and diabetes. I would visit her and then I would see her husband who lived nearby. He became ill as well, his legs had begun to swell, it was discovered he had diabetes as well and the jarring action of the crash had somehow caused this, most likely due to cuts and bruising. At one point he also entered into a rehabilitation home, where she had been released to. For about two weeks they were there together, until his swelling began to subside. She was just to return and to a newly remodeled. albeit modestly, kitchen that her husband had had done while she was away, when suddenly he was rushed to the hospital, the swelling had returned and I had noticed such, this time to his feet, Infection had set in.
From this infection, gangrene set in and subsequent amputations were to follow, beginning with the big toe and ending with taking the entire leg just above the knee. I was utterly flabbergasted for him and for her, the grief, the pain and the loss of not only his leg, but of them being able to be in each other's company.
She returned home and became miserable by this separation and she did not seem to be recovering too much either.
The absence of each others company was very much contributing to their decline, both mentally and physically. Then one day, a day after visiting this gentleman in the hospital, he developed pneumonia.I was able to visit him briefly at which time he had asked me to visit an auto dealership. He wanted me to bring him brochures that he might be able to find a new vehicle for them. This was the last time I saw him alive, he died the next day while I was at work, the pneumonia must have been drowning him even while we spoke, but the thought of doing for his sweet love, eased away any sign of struggle.
Attending his funeral, with her appearing to be sedated, was a rather sad affair. The day was blustery and cold and snow began to fall very hard. Somewhat fitting perhaps was that snow, it came down hard and fast covering the ground with a light dusting, somehow a sign, not truly an ending, more like a promise, a sign of waiting, of his waiting for her. This is how I perceived the snow, as a sign.
My vow, I take thee in sickness and ...
Love is never conquered
She never recovered; try as we may to bring about good cheer and engage her in conversation, her heart was broken and I knew not how to fix it. I would just go to her home, watching her health continue to decline, she had no appetite, she had no joy and her will to continue living apart from her love had gone. She wanted to go home, she longed to be re-united with her lover, her friend, her husband.
God showed me what love is through their pain, I may never be able to do as they did in my own marriage, but I know what love should look like.
The memories of this relationship were brought back hard to me today, today as I was working my job as maintenance mechanic, as a plumber of varying degree, I had to pay a visit to a water pressure boosting station. As I arrived on the scene to discern the reason for a high pressure alarm, I was struck by the picture of a Mallard, a drake and I noticed he was next to a hen, but something was wrong, I could tell in an instant. The area, I had thought, may have been suitable for nesting, but that thought was soon dismissed. Upon my closer review of these two, I noticed the hen was not moving, she had died. It appeared she had been dead a couple days and this drake had been by her side ever since. My Lord, how love can be so strong!
The Stars come out
I suppose the man upstairs has seen enough of something good inside of me and inside of you, to groom us, to make us ready, for us to go at relationships with such fervor and such compassion as I have previously spoken of. Perhaps we become as a star, bright and twinkling, beyond our current comprehension of time and we are joined and in rousing chorus exclaim the glory of God. How he has joined together, as one, the man and the woman and in his Spirit, a new triad.
Tried and True
Such a "Hollow Man," who am I? Where will I end up and what will become my fill? Of all things that man/woman can become, if love is not the main ingredient, we are truly just a hollow shell.
From cradle to grave, love can make all things possible. I have imagined myself as a freight train, moving along the tracks, town to city and city to town. Here I pick-up the cargo, there I drop lt off, but some cars become filled with treasure. These cars have a final destination that no earthly tracks could ever lead them. They are sealed after loading, to be opened by one who is true, true as the path from which love flows.