My grandfather was a grumpy old man. Most people were intimidated and afraid of his demeanor. He was hard on the outside. We were taught early on to fear and respect him. On one of our summer trips to Puerto Rico my mother warned us about staying out of his way. He had this big office and would spend most of the day in there. I would go inside and sit by him. At eleven years of age I loved adults. I enjoyed elderly people. We could relate to one another. We would sit in silence for a while. Then he would ask if I had something to play with outside of his office. I would say, “No, I’m fine. Whatcha doing?” He would grunt. He would say I asked a lot of questions. He would then continue working. On his desk he had pictures of children from South America. I asked him if they were part of our family. He grunted with a no. I would press on day after day until one day I saw him making out a check to a foundation. He had children he would sponsor. I later found out he helped a lot of people who never asked anything of him. This is the type of man he was. He was impossible on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside. It was that moment that changed my perception of him forever.
As I grew older and my grandparents moved closer to us in South Florida I would go visit him. Every time I would leave I would hug him and asked him to tell me he loved me. He would grunt and tried to kick me out. I would just go back and sit on the sofa until he would tell me. One day he said in Spanish, “You love the impossible, don’t you?” This caught me off guard. He would mumble the words, “I love you” in English as if pulling teeth. I would then proceed to ask for a smile. This was a dance we did for many years. He wasn’t impossible. He was all things possible. He was a strong man with structure and tenacity. My mother used to beg me not to bother him when I would visit. To no avail, I needed his impossibilities. He was one of the greatest loves because of them.
I love. I do love the impossible because I’m possible and like magnets we attract. Most folks who are difficult and hard have the softest interiors. They are the silent ones who help without needing acknowledgement. They are the ones who donate money and worry about the welfare of the underdogs. We are not all on the same spectrum. But love is love regardless of the impossible or the possible. It is timeless, space-less, self-less, placeless, and priceless. At times I hear my grandfather’s questions in my head when I meet the “impossible” ones. I hear my answer to him each time, “Because all things are possible. The word impossible says I’m possible of everything.” He would grunt and tried hard not to smile. We are all possible and deserve to be loved for the differences of interiors and exteriors.
How do we love? How do we pick who to love? Is there such a guide to loving? I might not agree with someone’s views, opinions or way of life, but I do stand with an open heart. I have had exes who stole my heart and will continue to be loved by me. Our time came to an end and we learned and evolved. But, the love will always remain somewhere in a box close to heart. I’ve had friends who meant the world to me, inseparable, and time came and went and they are no longer in my life. But, when I think of them my heart smiles because they existed to fill a void, to love all parts of us, and to teach me forgiveness in me and them. And, with my own children, some have arrived deeply wounded and I have loved and had to let go. They are always loved. We don’t have to love with a heavy heart those who ruffle our feathers. We have to love with an opened one. That’s how we love. That’s how we connect to the divine. People and situations get placed in our path to evolve and better our higher selves. We deserve to acknowledge those parts of others and us. I love. You love. We all love one way or another. No two loves are the same. No two souls can match exactly. But, when you love from a place of truth, forgiveness, compassion, grace, and boundaries, there is no such thing as impossible.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”~Shel Silverstein