I felt a weird sensation from my toes on my left clog. They remained comfortable as I had been wearing those favorite clogs of mine for many years. But why too comfortable that they didn’t seem to have a hard time wiggling with way extra room?
I stared at my friend and her mom who kept re-orienting her aunt/sister they had not seen in a while when she was moved to a nursing home. It was not because her family left her but because her hard-working son couldn’t care for her with the business that usually got in the way. He loved his mother, my friend’s aunt, that he wanted comfort to always be provided no matter what it would cost.
It was a nice facility. Sort of a rehab unit at the same time as I saw some elderly in the wheelchair, others with cast, being aided with their therapies. My friend’s aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was difficult to communicate for her. She smiled a lot though. Though she didn’t remember her loved ones’ names. It was tough for my friend and her mom to see that her memory was not the same.
She gave a big smile as my friend and her mom first saw her when the nursing assistant wheeled her out of her room. We brought her to the nice patio for her to get some fresh air from the ocean and a little privacy. How patiently my friend and her mom tried to talk to her no matter if she understood or not! They kissed her at times. Her mom fed her sister’s lunch. She ate all the well-portioned, healthier food in the tray. Sometimes, staring in the space, she would say something that didn’t make sense. Then, she would smile.
“Let’s go, grab some lunch,” my friend uttered to me. I volunteered to drive that day but she invited me at the same time to go with them, to which I accepted.
“I have something to tell you,” I whispered as I slowly got up and appeared as if I couldn’t walk at all.
My friend’s face had concern, waiting for my words or problems that plagued me that came to her mind.
“Look at this! My shoe has ripped!” I showed her all of my 5 toes on my left foot that came out through the hole that formed from the beloved black clog. She laughed so hard as I joined her.
“I thought there was a big problem,” she said with difficulty as she couldn’t stop laughing.
“It’s good to laugh though it’s a problem for me now,” I replied.
From that moment, we both knew that was a memorable laughter we shared that perhaps, made our bond stronger knowing that in anything we would face, we had the comfort of telling each other without fear of being judged or ridiculed but instead, be able to help and comfort each other, whatever was needed to make the other stronger.
And that’s our life’s journeys. Full of ups and downs. I was thankful for the nearby In and Out burger that had a drive-through as I kept my left foot on the car’s floor, ready to step on the brake if needed, despite the hole on my shoe. We ate altogether in that patio. With her aunt’s smile painted on her face as she stared at two strangers’ faces. The last smile she gave as my friend and her mom gave her hugs and kisses when they said their "goodbyes" for that day. I knew... She understood one particular language from them that made her smile:
Love… The universal language that doesn’t need words…The strongest bond that keeps any relationships from breaking apart. No matter what storms of life come. Love that knows when to share laughter or tears…Love that comes from God…Love that transcends...even through death...
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.-John 15:12 (NIV)