Thursday, April 29, 2010

But the Greatest of These is Love...

Emotions linger long after memory fades, according to a new study from the University of Iowa, whose findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "A simple visit or phone call from family members might have a lingering positive influence on a patient's happiness even though the patient may quickly forget the visit or phone call. On the other hand, routine neglect from staff at nursing homes may leave the patient feeling sad, frustrated and lonely even though the patient can't remember why."

Duh.

I could've saved the University of Iowa a lot of money.
They should've asked me, and I would've told them that love outlasts memory.
Love outlasts life.

Large sections of the Bible speak of love and its longevity. How about this favorite?
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sounds pretty permanent, doesn't it? I think Sue is right when she reminds me that Maura's love still exists. It sounds almost scientific. Everything is matter and energy. Nothing disappears. It just transforms.

How about this last paragraph from The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder?
" 'Even now,' she thought, 'almost no one remembers Esteban and Pepita, but myself. Camila alone remembers her Uncle Pio and her son; this woman, her mother. Bust soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be love for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.' "
Even memory is not necessary for love.

My favorite story about my dad comes from the time he lived with us and had moderate Alzheimer's disease. As I helped him into bed one night, he started talking in his fake matter-of-fact voice--the one that he put on to try to hide the fact that he had slipped out of a world that he knew and into a world where he knew nothing.
I teased him. "You don't know who I am right now, do you?" I chided, as I tucked him in.
Busted! His eyes widened and he got that deer-in-the-headlights look. But then, surprisingly, he recovered a bit, and said gruffly, "No. But I know you're someone I love."

6 comments:

Lydia Medeiros said...

I love that story of grandpa.

Amanda said...

That's a sweet story of your dad, Erin.

Anonymous said...

Wow Mrs. Erin that was a very touching story about your dad! Love you always!!! Mandy Mulkey

Sue G said...

What hope in that single sentence. To think that you could become a stranger to yourself and not know anyone around you...but know for sure in your heart that you love.

I think we spend so much time trying to define love, trying to feel it, trying to be it. Love is simple.

It's how we feel about ourselves around someone. To me that's the greatest form of love...the kind in which another person calls us to a higher awareness of ourself and of our capacity to walk, live, and joy in love.

Kathy said...

Love is the only thing from this world that we can take with us when we die. Love is portable. Love is the lesson that we are supposed to learn while we are here. Love is what God is. Love is the answer to all the questions we have. The question is never why me? or What? the question is who? Who can we touch with our love? Whose lives can we change with it? Whose love and life touches ours? Who transforms us to be better people?
Love is more than an emotion.It's a way of life..it is the way. Maura brought love with her when she left this Earth and left heaps of it with you. It is what is connecting you to her every day and as long as you love, Maura has never really died at all.
Kathy

Laci Stewart said...

You probably dont know me, I went to school with Maura, I met her through Katie P. Katie and I met When we were in elementary school and still remain in touch today. Maura was a sweet girl - a very unforgetable person, one I know I Strived to live my life like. I follow your blog when I Get a chance. I have to say I love all your post -but connected the most with this one as my mom has alzheimers and I am faced with this challenge on a dailey bases of a parent not knowing who i am!

Sweet story.