perseverance

A Reverence Humming Within

gail picture 3

Many years ago a Rolling Stone interviewer asked Jane Fonda why she had taken up Christianity. “I feel a presence, a reverence humming within me, that was, and is, difficult to articulate,” she answered.

 

I’ve felt that reverence myself lately, in the presence of dear friends struggling with catastrophic health challenges. Gail has had nine strokes in the last year. Previously she was brilliant, accomplished, generous, kind, a completely marvelous person and friend. Now she fights to find words. Fights to get up from the recliner, knowing that her ability to remain at home, rather than a nursing home, depends on being able to get up. Depends on her knees being able to bend, her thighs to lift, her hands to grasp the walker.

 

And her husband Ben, previously a somewhat pre-occupied business executive, while still working heroically to keep them afloat financially, puts everything else aside to care for his wife.

 

In the midst of this sorrow, I feel a reverence humming within. A pulsing wonder. That Ben is so tenderly loving. So calmly sacrificial. That the words Gail most often says are “Thank you.”

 

To suffer—and to choose love.

To suffer—and to choose gratitude.

To suffer—and to continue to choose life.

 

What well does this goodness spring from?

 

When I’m with them, I get to taste and see, privileged to witness beauty rising from devastation, new life emerging from ashes.

 


 

 

Photo above is Gail’s drawing, entitled Yeah, which she made with stamps and markers on October 8, 2014 at her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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