April 9, 2009
I know now the answer to a question I have been pondering and searching for.. most of my life..the meaning of Unconditional Love...
We were placed here to learn it..not for just a few, or even just one...but for all mankind.
God has it
Why is it so hard for us
The easy going, laid back, always happy guy that was..died 10 years ago at the Pentagon...I am the bitter, angry, cynical, grumpy son of a beech that took his place. Emotion is difficult for me...anger gets in the way...yet my sweet wife...loves me anyway. So does my grandson...Why? I don't know...
I am not worthy
I am not worthy of her..or my grandson
At 11:00 PM this last evening, I walk into the kitchen to get another glass of Kool-Aid when the little arms of my grandson suddenly wrapped around my waist..."I didn't get to say goodnight to you papaw!"
I felt a little uncomfortable at such a physical expression of love...as I've said...emotion does not come easily for me, except for anger
"Are you aware of the time Michael? It's after 11 o'clock! you should be sleeping!You DO have school tomorrow!"
Michael sank to his knee's, hung his head and shamefaced said "I can't tell time Papaw"...
That really struck me..I don't know why as we have been trying to teach Michaedl to tell time, among other things, for some time. Michael has epilepsy and learning disorders we are still trying to fathom...yet..
I sank to my knee's as well, gave his head a quick rub and showed him my watch..
"Remember this watch? See the little hand is on the 11 and where is the big hand?"
"On the 10!"
"So..what time is it Little Man?"
"Exactly!" Good job!"
He wraps his arms tightly around my neck and I pick him up and take him into the living room where my wife is watching TV and I, with Michael still wrapped around my neck, sit in my easy chair. He sits up in my lap and asks if I will help him tell time...this strikes me too...it's not like we haven't talked about this before, but I suddenly take the watch off my left arm and wrap it as tightly as the velcro will allow on his left arm..."Now you can tell time Michael...my watch is now yours. It's a real watch and tells real time. it's up to you to take care of it. Okay?"
"I can't take this Papaw...you need it for work!"
I smile.. "I have lots of watches Michael, now you have one too" All of a sudden there are tears in his eyes as Michael once again wraps his arms so tightly around my neck I had trouble breathing. "Not so hard Little Man, I'm old remember?"
What he says next...*sigh*..."I love you Papaw! I love you so much sometimes it hurts!"
I hug him back "! love you too...lets get you to bed" but my heart is aching...as I stand with Michael I hear sniffling and look at my wife as I see tears in her eyes...now I am extremely uncomfortable and a little angry..what the hell!
I take Michael to his room, put him in bed, hug and kiss him goodnight and come back into the living room. My wife sees my frustration and as difficult as it can be for her to stand she does so,wraps her arms around my neck and smiles as she looks me in the eyes, a single tear rolling down her cheek. "He really loves you you know. so much! you are all the world to him! You are his Papaw, and the only Father he's ever known."
"But I'm not his father, I'm just me...the asshole...remember?"
My sweet wife, arms still wrapped around my neck, says the words that struck me the most...
"All these years, you have continually said that you were here for a reason, that though you were "never meant to have children" you are here for Michael...to make sure he grew with honor, integrity, principals, and morals.. and you have taught him, as best you can...but did it ever occur to you, my sweet angry man, that you were not here for Michael at all... but that Michael was here for you?"
That stopped me dead in my tracks
Suddenly...with utmost clarity... I understood what had been there all along...right there in front of me!
The answer I had been seeking, searching for...for so long!...was right there within the arms of an eight year old little boy
Unconditional Love was just a heartbeat away
I feel so ashamed
I should have known
I should have seen!
I was blinded by anger, blinded by hate...No...I am not the man I was 10 years ago...
But I can change
Thank god for my wife
Thank god for Michael...
We are not just here for our children
Our children are here for us
I apologize for this being so long, but i just had to speak
Thank you for bearing with me
When I die...I want to go peacefully in my sleep...like my Grandfather did...not screaming like the passengers in his car.