Sitting under a Wonderful Tree
I remember after my father's series of strokes, he was presented with a well-constructed physical therapy regimen. But even with our constant encouragement, he would often only half-heartedly attempt any of the rehabilitation exercises. Although we had all hoped he would have tried harder, there was little any of us could do. The superficial pretense that floated among us was, that he was going to get better, but honestly in my heart-of-hearts, I knew he wouldn't. It certainly wasn't because of the physical impossibility of it all, but rather because of his own personal conviction and his essential and unfettered right to choose how his life would go.
As much as we had hoped, and as much as it involved our own personal wishes, I do know it would have been wrong to force dad or even lay out any set of conditions that made it difficult for him to choose how to live. Yeah, we could have forcibly drawn his path for him and he might have lived longer, but without his heart and accord, it would have been such an empty thing and it certainly would hardly have been a 'victory'.
I remember when Marie was dying, and I asked her "Are you afraid to die?" to which she easily replied "I'm afraid not to die". I was so hurt by this and immediately became selfish. I wanted anything to be done and I would have done anything that would keep her with me a little longer. How dare her choose this!
How wrong I was.
It may be a bit hackneyed, and as hard as it will ALWAYS be, I do know that (in dying or even in living) real love, is about letting go. It isn't about having things go my way and it certainly isn't about designing the lives of other people. It's just that selfishness often crowds my head, and I often need to "sit under that tree" and remind myself about what love is.
We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take the less we become
The fortune of one man means less for some
~ From: World on Fire, Sarah McLachan, "Afterglow"