My Great Friend's new grandchild (six weeks): She's absolutely adorable!
I have a family who have been a great and significant part of my life for the past thirty years. The mother, a woman of great integrity, strength, beauty, humility, and grace- and a huge pillar of love and support not only to her children and grandchildren, but to me also- has been the greatest example of unconditional love and acceptance in many of our lives and continues to be so. Having now lived a life of sobriety herself for the past thirty-seven years, she continues to be a beacon of hope and inspiration to everyone that comes into her path. She's one of those people that, when she walks into a room, the entire room lights up and everyone is irresistibly drawn to her. Everyone just has to be near her...it's her aura, her persona, her light, and her life. Perhaps, when we became partners in October 1983, two months after we met- this is what drew me to her most. Her beauty, her life; her happiness, her joy. Her exuberance. She just had this way of making everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. She had this way of making you feel like you were the most special person in the world. She was like magic- and in the words of a song- a breath of spring to chase the blues away. She just impacted you, beautifully; and everyone literally, fell in love with her.
We had enrolled in an educational program which had about thirty participants, and, although our instructors, professors, came from UBC, the first two years of our training was done at an off campus field center in Chilliwack, BC. It was one of those older, younger relationships: she was nineteen years older than me, but she sure didn't look it! Sobriety, as the bible says, "I will satisfy thy mouth with good things and restore thy youth unto thee as the eagle's," has this way of taking years off one's looks, and making them look incredibly younger, and adds years to their life.
Our sobriety has not come in our own strength or anything that we have done- it is all a gift from God. She reminded me constantly in my early years of sobriety: "Always remember, by the Grace of God, go I." Yes, when achieving sobriety and learning to live one day at a time, we had to fight major battles at times, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually- especially when dealing with the unresolved sorrow, grief, pain, loss, hurt, and abandonment. We had to learn that it was okay to be loved- and to allow people to love us. We had to learn that we weren't bad people. We had to learn that there was a true, heart-felt, unconditional love that existed. This love wasn't manipulative, self-seeking, or hurtful. It was not deceptive or deceiving. It did not operate for personal gain. When it comes right down to it, having learned many priceless lessons in this road to sobriety and wellness, the youth achieved is because of the inner peace found through the courage to get well, and to face one's inner demons; learning to let go and to let God. Learning to love, heal, and to forgive. Going back to my lady, her age didn't matter because I wanted her- and as far as that goes- age is just a number: it is the state of the heart, and strength of the spirit that matters most. The things which are internal. More than this, I wanted what she had. She had life- vibrant life! And energy...lots of it! I had seen the magnificence of her heart and the beauty of her spirit. She glowed, and everyone wanted her. She had sobriety, at this particular point in time- seven years. When I won her, the hearts of a few men were broken- the hearts of other younger men and especially men her own age who really tried for her- professors and instructors. I came gently to her side, befriended her, smiled at her, made great conversation (flirted!), and won her. It had a lot to do too, with that first kiss at a party that many of us were at. In the morning, I tried to leave- but she wouldn't let me without kissing her one more time. Being sometimes study buddies helped a lot too, as we got to know each other more personally and intimately. Not to mention she thought too, that I was incredibly good looking, handsome, articulate, intelligent- and like her, fun to be around (Ahem! I say this all very humbly for I am very grateful for the Father's Grace toward me in the talents, gifts, and abilities that he has blessed me with). Our relationship lasted for thirteen years. We parted in April of 1995. Today, we remain great, great friends.
I feel as I've recounted the path to sobriety and the great example that this great woman set, how it came about- it is largely because of the "Power of Love." Love in its purest form: unconditional, graceful, and accepting. Which brings me back to the picture of the baby. Here is another amazing story of the "Power of Love."
You know how babies can cry, especially new born babies. Well, the one above is no different. You know too, how they can cry incessantly and sometimes scream at the top of their pretty little lungs. Screaming their little heads off: you've fed them, you've changed their diaper, you've cuddled and cradled them, you've burped them- but still, there's no comfort. You rock them, you sing to them; they cry harder, scream louder, and cry longer. You walk with them, speaking to them with soft, loving, and gentle words. Their beautiful little faces turning beat red with the force of their cry. Their little hands and feet kicking, non-stop. They scream at the top of their pretty little lungs fully announcing to the world that they have arrived and that they are here to stay. They just won't stop crying...(Oh Father! I am soooo ready for fatherhood! Please, send me my wife- the mother to be of my child, this child that I want soooo badly!).
Then the older grand-daughter, holding the baby with the agonizing, gut-wrenching cry, says, "Papa, watch this." She reaches for her iphone and plays Jennifer Rush's, "The Power of Love." She places the phone close to the baby's ear. As if by magic, pure magic...the baby's eyes widen, in awe, as she stares into space as if she is hearing, or seeing an angel, or witnessing the most beautiful thing on earth. Peace and tranquility over take her. In a few seconds her excessive cry turns to a slight whimper. In a minute, she is silent. Her body totally still as if in absolute reverence to something great- to something beautiful. In the tininess of her heart, her spirit, and her soul- she has felt the touch of something amazingly beautiful. She has felt, in the expression of song and the beauty of voice: "The Power of Love." Within a few minutes, she is sleeping.
Her mother, from the couch lets out a laugh of amazement and exclaims, "It works every time!"
Simone, and her..."The Power of Love." God bless you baby, and keep you safe all the days of your life!