I'm sitting at the kitchen table, sipping my coffee. My parents just left to return home. We had a nice long visit.
It's hard to put into words how I feel.
Thankful. Concerned. Relieved. Loved. I have so many feelings that are tied to them.
I love them, dearly. I love their enthusiasm. I love their desire to embrace family. I love them despite their imperfections.
Sometimes I wonder what will happen to them. My dad is a stroke survivor. He struggles physically and emotionally. My mom is a caregiver- a position that doesn't come naturally to her. She struggles emotionally. They feel exhaustion and frustration, often.
They have never given up.
It's a love story. It is a difficult tale of struggle and triumph. They struggle together. Sometimes they exchange words. They gripe. They are desperate to help each other and to attain their own happiness. Always, no matter what, they remain together. Dedicated. They love each other, not because they are required to but because their roots go deep. They express their love, daily, through dependence on each other. They are present. Intertwined.
It's difficult to explain and difficult sometimes for them to express.
It can appear nondescript but their love is vast.
So as I think about them leaving, I am certain of one feeling- gratitude.
I am thankful for their love- the love they have for their family and the love that holds them together. It's super glue: a powerful, industrial strength love that will keep them together until the day that they are not both in this world. In this age, that's remarkable.
Their love propels me to love deeply.
I will love deeply, despite circumstances, despite critical eyes, in spite of selfish longings, despite myself- I will love even when I don't know what I want or why I love.
I am thankful for my parent's visit and the love that I see in them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~