I knew how to love Al better than I loved myself.
So, when he came to my home with affected speech and slight weakness on his left side, I knew how to forgive him. I knew how to get him to an emergency room. I knew how to ask the doctor all the necessary questions.
And, when they told us about the mass in the right frontal lobe, I knew how to say to him, "I'm staying with you no matter what comes”. It was obvious. This is how I knew to love him.
I left my job as an agency Director.
I became ambulance driver and chauffeur.
I became his right-hand business assistant.
This is how I loved him.
I made sure he took his medications.
I made sure he stayed in touch with his friends and family.
It was obvious and easy.
When his legs became too weak to hold him, I became his crutches.
When his memory began to falter, I became his list-maker.
When his speech began to fail, I became his voice.
Of course I did. This is how I loved him.
And on July 13, 2002 when he lost interest in this life and left his physical body, part of me went with him.
In the clarity that comes when a life is in the balance, I'd made the choice to let go of my self and give all I had to Al. This is how I loved him, by giving him my attention, focus, care, energy and resources to sustain his life. It was just so obvious.
After Al passed I promised to love myself as well as I'd loved him. It wasn't until that moment that I realized that I didn't know what that meant.
It's taken me years to realize that loving myself means acknowledging that I am the Love that loved Al. I am the generosity that gave what was needed. I am the beauty that saw the beauty in him. I am the knowing that forgave him quickly and completely.
Loving myself means including myself in Love - seeing myself good. When I let go of my little ideas about myself, Who I really Am becomes obvious. I trust God, and "know myself Love in the giving of it".