Earlier this Fall, when the leaves had started to fade, I was driving to my day job. Along the way I saw love.
He stood at least 6 feet tall, thin as a young man usually is: beard, long-ish hair, working man's clothes, light coat against the coolness of the morning. His right arm hung down. His hand was down to his thigh, holding the little hand of his daughter.
His daughter was hardly as tall as his knee, and her arm was almost straight up, hand in her father's hand surrounding hers. She wore a padded pink jacket which was seeing its next year of service. They walked carefully, at her pace, without rush, going to the place where the school bus would pick her up.
The pink back pack matched her coat. It was as big as she. I think it must have been filled with dreams and the future and a lot of things you can't see unless your eyes are well adjusted.
And he was wearing it, as they walked along together.
Sometimes we read of a man who has done a heroic deed, or even an ordinary deed done in an extraordinary way or time. Many, many of our worthy acts are never witnessed, except by eternal eyes.
Joe (not his real name) is caring for his wife, of over 6 decades, who is dealing with progressive dementia. Their journey together continues even in these kinds of days. His strength combined with her spirit: like a three legged race where each must hold the other up while moving forward. That takes practice!
Having also been a care giver I understand a bit of this dance of three legs, two arms and one life.
Joe is my hero and example. He is my comrade in caring arms. There are many of us 'Brothers of the Caring Arms'. I'm sure there are a few metals and ribbons on our chests that no one can see. But we know each other by a certain look of the soul in the eyes: a knowing, a caring, some sorrow, some joy.
Brothers, you are not forgotten. Keep the Flame of the Heart alive. Live well. Rest along the way. Take good care of you as well as your loved ones, too. We've a few more miles to go on this journey of ours.
Allen Pollock, ( Owner of Gentle Breeze Farm, LLC located in Windham, Maine )
Gentle ponderings & ruminations on life and living