I have heard it said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Sitting around my dining room table last night the student was ready and the teacher appeared.
As normal the family had gather for dinner, but we were very blessed that we also had members that have been a little low key as of late. We have, like all families, our troubles and trials. One couple in the family has been working through a very difficult time. They have endured the death of parents and friends. Just when they were gathering themselves back to normal they find out the wife has Breast Cancer. What a blow! However, true to her style she faced it head on and has been an amazing trooper through all of the treatments. I can remember my Dad’s treatments and how he was, so we have been there for them, but not been in their business. That was what I found during my Fathers ordeal that I was willing to let certain people inside, but only in small bits, and especially on my terms. We all have tried to make sure we were there whenever we could be. The girls of the family have been especially keen to the needs of this very special lady as she fights this battle. They have been there through all of the hair loss, the weight loss, and the exhaustion of the treatments. We have all focused our attentions as best we can on her and tried without being invasive to be there at every turn. When she had her last treatment there is a bell ringing ceremony that was attended by the other girls and what joy it was in the whole family that she had made it through this rigorous exercise and came out on the other side stronger than when she started. She is a tribute to strength and endurance when it is all on the line. An amazing example of positive attitude and face to the sun tomorrow will be better attitude that I’m not so sure I could emulate if the shoes were on these weak feet I walk on.
As I sat next to her husband, a pillar of a man, and one I had admired long before the events of the last year. I suddenly became aware of his struggles and hardships and how he has changed though out this process. He has always been a man of the utmost character and class. Standing up for his beliefs in circumstances and situations, yet always being willing to listen and respect your opinion even if it was different than his own. I have learned a lot from this guy, but not until last night did I learn the most important lesson of selflessness and how to put the needs of the whole out in front of the needs of self. I believe sometimes things are shown to you because the powers that be know and understand you can’t handle the stresses that would accompany the lesson, if given to you. This I believe was shown to me last night. As we sat there talking about how he has been there and seen the all that his lovely wife has endured he has always been there never leaving her side. He tracked her temperature making spreadsheets to track it for the doctors doing everything humanly possible to make sure she was as comfortable as possible, what a man! I loved the way last night he called her his “partner”. You could actually feel the love and respect he has for her and the genuine joy he has found in this circumstance and how he has used that circumstance to make his relationship with his partner even stronger than before this tragedy. I felt the feelings coming back of the times I spent caring for my Father. I loved my Dad and did my best to care for him, as best as this son could have, I only hope I did an OK job. I cannot imagine trying to do this for my wife and partner. Last night, sitting at my dining room table, I realized that he was the teacher and I was clearly the student. I have learned a great deal from this guy, as I have said before, but this lesson is a special one. How you can be there for someone who is your whole world and still hold it in the road and carry the load and never even give the slightest inclination you are suffering is amazing to me. Strength, my friends, that is strength.
I now think, thanks to his example, I can be there for any of the family that needs me. I will call on this lesson I was taught last night. See my friends face, smile and be grateful that he was willing to share his experiences with me that I can move forward through the mire and get to the other side. Because that’s the lesson here, there is the other side. If we are blessed all is good and we continue on better people for the trials. If it doesn’t work out like we want, as in my dad’s case, we continue on knowing we were there, and did the very best we could to make sure they knew we loved them and care for them. I am so glad my friend has shown me there is always the other side. How special. So the blessing here my friends is being reminded to love to people in your life with reckless abandon. Kiss your partner every time you walk by them. Give random hugs. Tell them you love them as you sit there and watch TV. Call your folks tell them you love them.. Hug your kids even if they hate it. Someday they would give anything for a hug from you, I promise. What a blessing family is.
Think I will go give my partner a huge hug and tell her she is my world and how special she is to me. Hell I might even call my son and tell him as well. Guess I have learned a little something here!! I am going to make a conscious effort to make sure the people in my life that are important know it.
What a great lesson, thank you my friend.
The Blessed Man