While my mother was in rehab, recovering from her surgery, we met a family that touched our hearts in so many ways. One Sunday afternoon, I walked in to my mother’s room, which she shared with another lady, a much older lady. I sat on the share next to my mother’s bed, hoping that God would fill me, if just for that moment with the strength not to breakdown in front of her. My mom looked at me and said, “Waji, sometimes in life even loving from a distance is a great thing.”
At that moment, the ladies family came into the room. Her son is a quadriplegic, he was cliff diving, at 22, vacationing on his honeymoon, with his beautiful bride, and broke his spine. They have no children, but have been together for 25 years, and you would think they had recently met, from the sign of fresh love still circling the areola of both their eyes. Five years into their marriage, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I hated myself for becoming sick, because I had to take care of him, and I felt selfish knowing that I was the one who needed the help, and attention, and I felt like it was taking time away from him. Many nights I asked him to leave me, and he told me, “If you didn’t leave me at 22, I’m not leaving you, ever. We kept each other alive. It’s what you do when you love someone, even if you know they can’t, not because they don’t want to, but because its physically impossible for them to do the things you need at the moment. But even then, if I needed to go to the bathroom, and I didn’t have the strength, he would find it somehow to place me on his lap, and take me to the bathroom. He fought for me, even at my worst, even when I didn’t want to anymore. We fought for each other. That, my dear Waji is love.”
The lady, whose bed was next to my mother’s, was battling cancer, her husband of 55 years was by her side, and every time he looked away from her to enter a conversation, he would start off by saying, “she’s so beautiful.”
The day before she went to hospice, she looked at me and smiled, held my hand and said, “Have faith, my child.”
Today we got the news that she passed away. My thoughts are with the Lorenzo family, and my heart is with everyone who is fighting for love and life.
Sometimes people come into your life, and you don’t even have to say a word, but somehow, they will give you something from their life that you can take into yours.