Tuesday, October 23, 2012
LOVING SOMEONE INTO EXISTENCE
A friend, Terry Hershey, wrote these words in one of his newsletters. I wrote the words on a scrap of paper and waited for the right time to discover just why they meant so much to me when I read them. Before I tell you why, I would like for you to spend a moment or two and try and think to yourself exactly what they mean to you.
Loving someone into existence.
So many of the warriors I work with in therapy, with my therapy dog Kelsie, live minute to minute with anger, frustration, and pain. I often wonder what these injuries and tests allow them to learn about themselves and if they come to realize what is truly important and what is not.
These warriors are placed in a forced time-out. A forced place of quiet where you they are unable to go about their lives the way they planned, the way they had dreamed and hoped. Working with double and triple amputees and severely injured warriors has definitely put my life in perspective. I find it impossible to imagine that it wouldn't do that to anyone. But it does. Some don't want to see it because it would make it a reality. It is bad enough to think about it, but to see it would make it impossible to forget. How sad.
These long, forced time outs force the warriors to contemplate what is next for them when their whole life lies before them. They knew going into the military what might and could happen. That is made very clear. They risk their lives for their 'battle buddies', their country, they come home with 'survivor's guilt' and can't understand why they were not killed. It would have been so much easier.
What if this is a time for them to come to the realization that this time of quietude and time of doing nothing, save healing, is actually a time to wonder what is happening now, at this minute, this one breath they are taking.
The lesson to be learned here, at least to me, is that every day is a new day to experience. Sometimes life is deplorable, horrible, painful, and downright wrong. Sometimes there are no answers and the questions themselves make no sense. But in times such as these perhaps there is someone, in a very special moment, that can love us back into existence. Sometimes this can be a friend, a spouse, a parent, a child, or a significant person in our lives. And sometimes it can be as simple, and yet as complicated, as a very special dog, that comes into our lives as softly as a feather touching a stump, remaining from where a warrior's leg once was, to the nudge of a hand with nerve damange, requiring movement to scratch the back of a dog who somehow, unknown to all of us, knows exactly what they need the most. It is a time to sleep and have your hand reaching out and touching the back of a friend who requires nothing but is simply present for you.
It is at times like this when the warrior is focused solely on the moment. And on this one living breathing creature who asks nothing, requires nothing, and expect nothing. Perhaps this is what 'loving us back into existence means.' Perhaps this is what we all need at one time of another in our lives. A place of quietude, a place where no one requires anything of us and can love us back into existence from the brink of not knowing what to do, where to go, what is next, or why me.