That Alone

In any difficult or troubling situation, the secret to having a clear conscience is knowing that you are doing everything there is to do and giving everything there is to give. Where my mother and her deteriorating health are concerned, I can honestly say that I am doing and giving to the limit of my capacity. Although I can do nothing to prevent her affliction from running its course, I feel no sense of failure. I am not trying to cure her. I only want her to be as comfortable and secure as her mind and body will allow.

No day passes during which I do not remember her many accomplishments. No one was more hospitable than she, no one more capable, unselfish, supportive, and willing. Long after she is gone, her family will owe her a great deal. As strong as he was, without her, my father could not have survived the challenges he faced, or the hardships, or the physical and emotional pain he had to endure.

She gave of herself gladly and without resentment, and expected nothing in return. Her efforts were her satisfaction. She and my father built a good life � a life based upon love, honesty, and hard work. She does not deserve to suffer, but people suffer all around the world each and every day: mothers, fathers, children, the elderly � some for reasons that are identifiable, preventable, shameful, and embarrassing, others for reasons that are clearly beyond our control.

One thing I find astonishing is that beauty exists under any and all circumstances. Not only does it exist, it grows and thrives.

Help is needed,
help is given:
that alone
makes music
of our pain.

August 10, 2006

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