She never stopped remembering him.
When he forgot he had a bride,
She kept her vows for better or for worse.
Love does that.
Love remembers even when ...
The man, who always wanted to hold her,
Morphed into the man
who wanted to be far away from her
And she remembered whom he was beneath the surface of unraveling memories.
She wove the fraying threads of logic
Over and over again
Into a beautiful tapestry
Of tear-stained prayers
To stay her through the storm
To keep the missing at bay
She was determined to love my grandfather
in the same way
he would love her
if his mind were intact and the
tables were reversed.
I learned so much she didn't know she was teaching me.
I learned what it means to love someone through anything,
they can't love you back.
I learned how you remember enough for the two of you
to hold things together,
even when only one of you
is in your right mind and
doing most of the work.
I learned how to see what true love is, made plainly visible in one million concrete ways
how love looks past what things look like on the surface
to what can only be known
heart to heart.
I learned only Jesus
Can enable and empower love like that.
One day, so deep in that dreadful disease that he was primarily silent and
rarely moved the slightest...
One day after so many days
when his voice had been grating
instead of grateful...
One day after the same hands (that had only ever before this disease
reached for my grandmother tenderly) stopped striving to lash out at her...
One day after many days
where his eyes had searched
my grandmother's face
in anger or confusion,
with the perpetual looks of either,
"Who are you?" Or
For one fraction of one glorious day
God's love and grace exponentially surrounded us.
He remembered her
At a time all of his memories
whom she truly was to him
Should have faded forever away
The hands reached out in gentleness
The eyes brimmed full with affection.
The lips parted to ask for a kiss and
to tell her,
"You're my wife... I love you."
Only once and near the end
But fully remembering what once he always knew.
And there is power in being remembered well and being loved
even when love came and left
Before it flew back home to stay.
Angela M. Byrd