Tenderness of Kindness

This afternoon I witnessed one of the most loving acts of kindness. I went to visit my 96 year old client. We were in the hospital yesterday. Today she was back at the facility. Life is truly ever changing.

When I got to her room I told her I had a vanilla shake for her. She wanted up and out of her bed. I asked the male nurse to help me transfer her to her wheelchair.

She can’t see. She asks for folks to come close so she can touch their face.

He picked her up. She said, “Darling, is that you?”

He answered with such tenderness, “It is my love.”

He sat her down and she grabbed him and kissed him on the cheek close to his mouth. “No one understands our love affair.”

He smiled (even though she can’t see him) “No, they don’t. But they don’t have to…”

She said loudly, “No one has to. We love each other too deeply and I don’t care what anyone thinks!”

He left the room and I asked her about love. She shared it asking me for my hands. She spoke of connections. She always thinks I’m her favorite nurse. No point in correcting her. So she said, “You are young. Don’t work so hard that you forget to love full heartedly. If you are married make it unforgettable. Don’t take each other for granted.”

He returned to guide her out to the social gathering. Once again she grabbed him and she kissed his hands this time.

There was such tenderness from him. And acceptance. And something else…compassion and humanness. It’s not just his job. It’s the connection with her. It’s about showing her dignity as she’s transitioning. He sees her. She feels it.

She told me about her husbands. She shared about her church. I’ve heard most of it before but each time I witness something deeper in her stories. She has lived and wants another to know that she had a life that mattered. For those precious moments I am transported to another time and place where she is the protagonist of magic.

The Ness of It All

Tucking my hair behind my ears,

caressing my bangs over my eyes,

you checked in constant assurance

that I always heard and saw you.

Your hands guided my chin upward

so my eyes could share

the unspoken truth…

I was forever present with your one-ness.

Memories immortalize moments,

freezing scenes of tender-ness,

loving-ness and kind-ness

while all else now falls

in helpless-ness  to a backdrop

of what is now real life.

Words echo,

I was everything to you

and I haven’t been ever since

to anyone else…

Oh, yes, there have been lovers

who crafted beautifully the arts

of rapture,

passion,

ecstasy,

gratification…

but the nothing-ness,

the ever so encompassing-ness

of allowing me

to love endlessly

without holding back

buried itself with you

long ago.

When I permit myself

the act of giving

I am returned with akward-ness–

a full disclosure

that you are not in them,

and I am not in me as well.

Luckily stories re-enact

in little sleepless nights

through visions

of what may never be again

but always live in fond-ness:

I was truly treasured

in whole-ness by you.

Deduction of Thoughts

Tell me,
what was it that you heard:
my heart beat thumping
slowly to the sounds
of the room,
mimicking the a/c;
my breath catching up
with a mutual silence
of exhaustion
from a lover’s marathon;
my hands gently stroking
the hairs on your back
bringing forward some
childlike memory
you might had never

known existed?
What did you hear
in the solitude next to you?
Did you hear the depth

of me moving deeper

in gratitude?
Did you find me clicking
a memory button filing
the moment forever?
Tell me what you heard
so I can share what I felt
as our bodies became

suspended but pressed

into the cold mattress.
I heard the rain harder

in my chest; the earth penetrating

against my spirit,

weighing and settling

to this newness.

I’m becoming spring
inside these spaces
intertwining thoughts with

the in and out of you.
Did you hear me digging
through the rumble of
thoughts, and a mountain
of could’ve been’s
while you transported
yourself to Neverland?

I am water spread on a bed

while you are the container

that houses me in places

I never knew existed.

Tenderness of Time

tenderness

Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes.  You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable.  But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around.  This week has been the anniversary of such a year.

In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues.  I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect.  I got engaged, had a granddaughter come live with us, died in the hospital for a snippet of a moment, fell deeper in love with my fiancé, acquired him as a house mate with a bunch of animals, had to sell my car, awakened to many different possibilities, and had my last child graduate from high school.   I have seen my dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with stressors of mental illness and destruction; and even made friends with a neurotic cat I thought hated me.  A year has brought me closer to many who I wouldn’t have been closed to before.  I have met amazing souls.  Most importantly I have made peace with me.  I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit.

I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system.  I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I know nothing of what I was able to articulate for most of my life.  I know zero…zip…nada.  I’m okay with that.  I am learning to keep my mouth close to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share.  My heart has been broken, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness.

I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go.  It isn’t easy!  I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte.  I am selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning.  I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion.  But, it is all a matter of perception.  I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.

A year in a life can make a huge impact.  Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while.  The year is over.  The mourning has subsided.  I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey.  All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not.  Each day works beautifully within the weeks.  Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months.  And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year.  It is nothing in the scope of reality.  Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives.  Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit.  The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time.  Holding my granddaughter and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing of the cake this year.  What better way to begin a new chapter?  May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!

Deliberate Craziness

I’ve been busy…inside my head.  Yes, we’ve had a major remodeling in one of our rooms that took over two weeks.  Yes, we’ve had guests come in and out, especially with a new phenomenal outdoor pizza oven.  Yes, I’ve been entertained in a new and wonderful relationship.  The busyness in my head has taken over full-time.  I haven’t been able to do my morning rituals as often as I normally do them.  I haven’t gone hiking in days.  I haven’t spent time playing outside in the creek picking up rocks and grounding myself.  The busyness in my head has been enough to keep me on a roller coaster ride.  I’ve created scenarios and drama that put a Broadway Show to shame.  I create my thoughts therefore I can delete them at any time.  Deliberate craziness doesn’t suite me!  It disrupts me in too many ways.

Yesterday I was returning from a short trip.  The plane was relatively full of great energy as opposed to the craziness I faced on Thursday evening.  Across from me there was this South American couple who had brought their child to Disney World.  They had the stuff animals, the t-shirts, and an array of endorsements coming out from the bottom of their seats.  The man sat in the middle; the woman sat on the aisle seat; and the little boy against the window.  I observed them for quite a while.   The manner in which they spoke to each other was terribly endearing.  South American couples have a way of speaking very proper Spanish that put us Caribbean folks to shame.  Their language and gestures are always slow and gentle.  It would be similar to listening to an English couple as opposed to an American one.

Couple on plane
Gentleness

At some point the woman found a nook against her husband and went to sleep.  Now, the sleeping part is common on a plane.  I had a lady snoring next to me.  The gentleness that came over this couple made me tear up.  He held his wife in a very loving manner while reading a magazine and still entertaining his son.  This is when I left my head.  I gave up with trying to figure anything else out.  I just took a picture with my phone and closed my eyes (and no, I am not into voyeurism but it was a very tender moment that needed further documentation).  I drifted for a little while.  I had to get the hell out of my intimate thoughts.  I was determined to give myself that gentleness that the woman found in her husband.  Even driving the hour and a half home from the airport I focused on the mountains, my breathing, and being gentle with my thoughts.

Busyness is habitual.  I know it well.  I also know when it’s time to get back to simplicity.  I returned to our retreat center to a wonderful lunch made by my best friend, joined by another amazing friend.  We sat outside for hours on the dock and talked.  Oh, it was a lovely afternoon.  No matter how far I go, how much I do, those intimate moments laughing with friends make the world a better place.  The busyness left me.  I was able to sleep peacefully last night.  I woke up to write extensively in my journal.  My candles have been lit, soft music plays in the background, and the earth is waking to another gorgeous mountain day.

Bobbie has a sign over the entrance of her front door, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”  I love my life.  I can’t imagine it any other way.  But the past few months have been on overdrive and I am ready to start slowing it again.  Making each moment count is important to me.  The busyness in my little head is not!  May you find a space in your busy life to slow down and enjoy the moments because life is created by YOU.