I have an atomic world friend who, in the middle of a health crisis, asked that in lieu of help we all spend time with an elderly person in a nursing home who might not normally have many visitors. My friend knew with all of her heart that she would win her own battle, and she since has. But even in the midst of her own fight, she thought it a better gift, a better service for those who care about her to give caring to others who were more lonely, more feeble than she was. My friend recently said she treasures hearing about those visits as much as if she had received them herself. Each telling caused her to think of her mother who, now deceased, lived to a wonderfully old age and who remained quick in mind and spirit despite being frail in form. She remembered the stories her mother shared about her life. No matter how many times her mother told the stories, the confines of age-imposed limitations fell away and life held promise again. Those walks down memory lane seemed to lift her out of the recliner, cast her cane aside, and bring her back into a world that she happily greeted with dewy smiles, long easy sunny strides, and hair-in-the-wind doings.
This week’s Single Frame Story prompt is “service.” Service and love are often flip-sides of the same coin. Caring enough about another to put yourself aside and validate another person’s significance, giving them dignity, respect, and love…and in the service of doing so really hearing, really listening…truly realizing just how very very big hearts and dreams — and life — can be. Even in the quietest of times.
My title for this week’s entry is a slight modification of a Cohen lyric: “Blessed are the cracks, for they let the light in.”