A couple of weeks ago, I started writing my next blog post. It was all about an incident that happened in my town on Earth Day. On the day where we are all meant to demonstrate support of our environment and its protection, over 600 daffodils that had been planted on the property of one of our elementary schools by the children were mowed down at the height of their bloom. Must have been an accident, right? Nope. This was under the express direction of the Director of Facilities for our school district. Seriously. Somebody told other somebodies to do such a thing. And they did it.
This outraged me. As a parent, as a former educator, but mostly as a human. I realize that mowing down daffodils is far less detrimental than calling climate change a hoax or signing executive orders to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. But this isn’t about the act itself. It’s more about the mental state of the people behind these acts, big and small. To me, this is was just a microcosm of the anger and cynicism that dominate our world today. This post was titled “Where is the Love?” I just wanted to know where all the love went.
And then life happened. My life happened.
My grandmother, who will be 97 in a week, ended up very ill. It is nearly impossible to chronicle her list of ailments and follow the path that has led us to where we are today. But I’ll tell you this, this woman is a fighter. If you’ve been lucky enough to meet my grandmother, you already know this. Something else you might also know is that I come from a very close-knit family. We have spent the last couple of weeks rallying around her, literally around the clock. This last week has been the toughest. Daily trips to the hospital, countless tears, and endless prayers. We are together but we are watching our matriarch slip away from us.
All of a sudden, all the emails and text messages that dominate my daily life seemed trivial and insignificant. There is nothing on TV that interests me, social media is irking me and I’m even finding it hard to listen to music. I keep changing the station waiting for the right song but I just can’t seem to find one. The hugs from my children and the understanding looks from my husband are what I cling to. I am blessed to have an amazing group of extended family and friends around me but it has become increasingly difficult to be around anyone but those that are living and breathing that same hospital air with me. We live in limbo, never knowing what the day ahead of us will bring. This morning, my grandmother was in particularly bad shape and was incoherent. However, at one point she whispered, “What is down the road?”
What IS down the road? We are all traveling the same road but not a single one of us knows what’s at the end. We all experience the twists and turns and sometimes it seems like maybe we are on the wrong path. All we can do is continue our daily march, be true to ourselves, kind to others and hope that the legacy we leave behind is a good one.
Then it dawned on me. You know where the love is? It’s in each of us. What we do with that love is up to us.
I see the love in my family as we sit with my grandmother and hold her hand. I see the love when she wakes up just long enough to recognize my children at her bedside. I see the love as we all try to give her what she needs to be comfortable. Isn’t it unfortunate that sometimes it takes a tragedy to make you see the love? Nonetheless, there is love.
Hallelujah! The love is still there.
And love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.