This I Believe

Cynthia - Chevy Chase, Maryland
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in the power of the soul. Its strength is unyielding, and you, Papa, teach me this lesson.

The child, the man, the husband, the father, the doctor, married body and soul, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to death do they part. Deep in side you saw it coming, I know you did Papa. As a doctor, you had seen it all too often before. Yet your soul prepared, with quiet resolve, to embark on the physical journey of soul guiding body, soul equal to body, body guiding soul.

In this final stage Papa, I do not lose sight of your lesson. Your physical being continues down a path of disconnection, but your inner being remains constant. With each cherished visit, your soul journeys over fragile bridges and deep gullies to greet me.

I recall one time Papa, when Mom and I wheeled you outside into the cool fall air, locked your chair in place, and performed songs and dances to unlock family memories and welcome your soul. “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air.” Soon, the dullness in your brown eyes sparkled. “Hey, Papa Dee,” I responded softly, as your hands unwound and reached for me. Your soul had arrived.

You studied us, breaking your silence with occasional words and laughter, as Mom and I twirled our bodies, snapped our fingers, sang, and fussed every once in a while as families do. Resting for a moment, I knelt down in front of you, tapped a familiar tune on your arm, and met your gaze, “Hey, Papa Dee,” I smiled. As I quietly took your hand in mine and began to trace its veins, you gently broke the silence whispering, “I’m Ok.”

Your lesson continues to guide me Papa. As your soul accepts Alzheimer’s, my soul too accepts vision loss. But the soul, Papa, I understand its resilience now. In the body’s unforeseen physical change, the soul adapts and strengthens, but maintains its essence.

You remind me that you are my Papa here and now, and at your core you will always be. You remind me that there is nothing that the soul can not bear. You teach me that during this marital connection, the soul must seek to harmonize with the body’s physical change.