Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"I love you . . . "

You had a long letter last week, this week's offering will be brief. Not that I want to denigrate this story. It may be brief . . . but it's good.
I can say that because, strictly speaking, it isn't my story at all. It was told to me by my friend, Mary, who lives in Ohio and I'm certain you'll be as moved by it as I was.

It appears that, during the closing chapter of her life, Mary's mother lived at a nursing home. Illness had deprived her not only of mobility, but also of most of her speech. During those final months all she could manage were three words.

All that Mary's mother could say was, "I love you . . . "
However, far from limiting her contact with those caring for her, those three words opened up a floodgate of shared affection.

"I love you . . . " Mary's mother would say to the cleaners who daily tended her room . . . and, for the busy cleaners, all at once their task seemed strangely lighter.

"I love you . . . " she would tell the handy-man when he came to change the
light bulb or adjust her chair . . . and the handy-man would go away more erect, more confident, with a smile on his face.

"I love you . . . " she said repeatedly to the nurses who washed her, dressed her, and helped to feed her . . . and they all loved her in return.

"I love you . . . " it was all that Mary's mother could say, but it was the most powerful thing she could have said.

Because they are so powerful, wouldn't you agree that those three small words scare us? We have developed the idea that to speak them, or to write them, is to declare our vulnerability, our dependency . . . in effect, to weaken us.

But what if it were quite the opposite? What if they were to give us energy and abundance, power and joy?

I'm willing to take the risk if you are.
Let's try it . . . it wouldn't be the end of the world . . . it could be the start of world peace . . .
Are you ready . . . ?