“Bits ‘n Pieces of Me: Memoirs to retain identity in the face of growing dementia” — unpublished Introduction:
I am from Truthful Loving Kindness
… from the snug haven of a home created
with the anchor of G-d’s truth
and the rose of parental love,
inside a greater world of uncertainty, pain, and illusion.
I am from the look in Dad’s eyes as he sang
“Have I Told You Lately that I Love You” to my mother.
I am from the look in Mom’s eyes as she cared for him while he died.
I am from “The Chippewa Song”:
I am from a FATHER,
exhausted after long hours of working two full-time jobs,
suspending me over his toe-tips
while teaching me to dance the swing;
I am from the fun of riding behind Dad in the motorcycle and sidecar,
holding a warm, foil-wrapped baked potato in my lap.
I am from working evenings at Coach Service,
fire-lit evenings with his harmonica,
impromptu poems composed at bedtime,
… and morning coffee breaks.
I am from the shock of seeing him after cancer surgery,
on a breathing machine with tubes coming out of his body;
… from the knowledge that he probably would not live
until I reached the age of high school,
… and then from the joy of having him at my graduation ceremony.
I am from “Beautiful Beautiful Brown Eyes”:
I am from a MOTHER,
in the housedress of unconditional love,
dancing me to sleep when my tummy hurt.
I am from the love that always had room in the house to care for
one more … child,
or one more uncle, or one more great-grandmother.
I am from marshmallow roasts,
sledding down the hill by the light of swinging lanterns,
helping with homework, … and quiet good-night prayers.
I am from the smell of homemade bread while warming myself
between the old wood cook stove and metal cabinets,
… from the knowledge that she would always be there
to share my problems, if I would only let her,
… and then from the joy of learning HOW to better share my life with her.
I am from lots of songs while washing dishes;
I am from whispered girlish secrets in the dark,
and gales of giggling in the light,
… from the look in Mom’s eyes the first Sunday that
there were only three children to dress for church,
– instead of four.
I am from funeral songs:
I am from the look in Dad’s eyes when
there were only two children,
– instead of three, … and then …
… from conversations regarding the process of death,
regarding the importance of family,
regarding G-d, and what it might be like to live in Heaven.
I am from wedding songs:
… from finding the truth of G-d’s love AND the rose of marital love,
both inside a greater world of uncertainty, pain, and illusion.
I am from the security I feel when I praise G-d,
and the answers when I pray.
I am from the look in my husband’s eyes as he holds me up
and dances with me in the living room.
I am from the smell of the ocean and the sound of the surf,
… while watching him build our house with his own two hands.
I am from songs sung to my children:
… the Chippewa song, bedtime songs, songs when working,
and songs while hurting.
I am from songs to express joy in life and love.
I am from songs to keep my mind off pain.
I am from songs to keep perspective in G-d’s plan.
I am from facing pain, loss – and death – with truth AND dignity.
I am from facing love, joy – and life – with kindness AND honesty.
Truthful Loving Kindness
I hope I can pass it on to those around me. (2007-09/16)
A more concise summary is my “about” page found here: [[https://truthfulkindness.com/about/]]
“I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair
with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”
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