Many years ago, someone gave me a letter that, at the time, I didn’t realize would leave such an imprint on my life. In May 2002, my mother was almost killed in a highway collision. She was left brain injured, and a changed person. January 1, 2003, I discovered I was pregnant (Oh!). Between pregnancy and family and work and stress and life at the tender age of 26, I wasn’t tuned into much else.
When I was eight months pregnant, someone gifted me the infamous ‘Love You Forever’ story by Robert Munsch. This book is found in the children’s section, but it sets off waterworks regardless of age, race, color, creed or hormone levels. A coworker had asked to read it. He was a quiet person, but very genuine, kind and…I suppose I would say profound. I received this letter from him, written on the backside of a patient medication chart, a few days later.
“Dayna – thanks for the opportunity to read this book. It is a beautiful story, and, due to the situation I find myself in currently, it touched me on several levels. It is beautiful to see and be a part of the great river of love that flows endlessly from one generation to the next, etc., without skipping a beat, from one heart to the next. But that’s where the sadness lies too: none of our hearts beat forever. Each of us have been given a certain amount of time, each heart a certain number of beats. Perhaps we would be wise to mark our time here, count our heartbeats and cherish those who give us this unconditional, unquestionable love so that we too can give such love to others. This past weekend I helped my mom move, and already I can see how the sun is setting on her life. My mom loves me. So much. It’s not measureable. And I am blessed for it. And I have a three year old daughter whose big brown eyes are now just welcoming the sun rise on her life. My greatest hope is that I will be able to bless my little girl with such love too. I’m also hoping that I won’t be denied the opportunity and that no one will interfere (some people might put a dam in the river).
God bless us all. I didn’t intend on writing all this, it just came out. I’m not going to tell you if I cried after reading this story, either. Please don’t ask me.
I think, now, of my grandfather’s passing two weeks ago. At 92 years of age, by the time his heart pushed out its last number of beats, he had witnessed so many remarkable sunrises and sunsets. What an achievement. Looking to the future – my best friend will be bringing her child into the world in just a few short weeks. This new baby’s heart is already pumping, and the great river of love between mother and child has begun. God bless us all, indeed.