We visited two friends in the hospital this week. Both patients are in serious condition. And sitting by their side are their spouses with such looks of bewilderment. I looked into their eyes and saw the disbelief at what might occur for them. A lifetime, a moment, a marriage. Where did it all go? Withered hands reached out and touched the faces they knew so well. Wiping a brow, patting a cheek, tracing the lines etched around their eyes and I know they barely remember days when it was smooth.
In the waiting room they sat and looked … lost. So a part of the other person, so used to holding the familiar hand, comforted by the very smell, the accustomed voice, even the taste of their skin, their breath, their kiss. The years of work, worry and wonder welded them into the wish forever after.
We also attended three weddings this week. Young love, young lives, yearning right now for the unity that will take years of living and giving and taking to achieve. Reach out and hold each other’s hand … then hang on. It’s going to be a wild ride, but in the end you’ll want to go again if you remember to laugh, if you trust enough to cry and brave enough to share what you think and feel and believe.
To be loved gives you courage, to love gives you strength.