I believe that love is forever. Love transcends all boundaries, known and unknown. Love transcends time. Love transcends generations. Love transcends distance. Love transcends consciousness. Love transcends death. Love makes the impossible possible and the unbearable survivable. Love is healing. But most of all, Love is forever.
Sitting by the Christmas tree, the lights blurred as the water level in my eyes finally spilled over onto my cheeks, my five-year-old self trying to conceptualize the permanency and finality of my grandfather’s death.
“Love is forever,” explained my dad. “If you give Love your grandfather will be able to feel it.”
I gave Love, and Love I felt.
I have never asked my father the origin of his spiritual belief, but I wonder if subconsciously he knew what lay ahead.
10:10 p.m. the phone rang in the quiet darkness. My mother’s voice, strained. Ambulance on the way. Hasn’t had an asthma attack like this in forever. I beat them to the house. My dad was sucking air too much to talk, but we made eye contact. He knew that I knew. I gave Love, and Love I felt. Love has the power to work miracles.
Trauma unit. Don’t know if it was trauma one, two, or three. Watching the machines breath for my father’s limp body. Listening to the beeping of various machines as they monitored my father’s vital signs and damaged heart. I sat in a chair, and sat, and sat, and sat. I gave Love, continuously, and Love I felt.
My mom and I had to make the decision together, for the first time without his vote. Whether or not to let my father “wind down” or undergo a tricky bypass surgery. Only one surgeon agreed to try to repair my father’s heart. I gave Love, fiercely, and Love I felt.
This time, he was not able to give us his characteristic wave as he disappeared through the OR doors. You see, this is a man with no legs, a man that has had – if I count correctly – almost 30 surgeries. He has survived the unthinkable. Because Love is forever. Because Love transcends all boundaries. Because Love gives the wherewithal to survive the unthinkable.
14 days in the ICU. Or was it 20? Too many to remember. I sat in a chair, and sat, and sat, and sat. I gave Love, tirelessly, and Love I felt.
When my dad came home from the hospital in a wheelchair my then two-year-old son experienced full-bodied Love and lit up with joy, unleashing an ecstatic squeal you could have heard at the North Pole. Love came out his fingers, his toes, and his nose. He gave Love, unconditionally, and Love he felt.
It is because of Wyatt and Autumn’s love that my father lives today. He tells me this regularly. Love is powerful. And most powerfully, Love is forever. This, I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.