The Different Kinds Of Love
Wow. So much has happened in the last few days. Bear with me for a moment while I make my way to the point I want to make.
Last Tuesday my dad – who is 86 years old and lives in Brazil – was rushed to the hospital with a bad cough. While most of us would wait out a bad cough before flying to the hospital, my dad has 16 stents, a pacemaker, and has had a triple bypass. He might actually be the man with the most number of stents of any heart in the world. So a heavy cough puts a lot of strain in his heart.
A day after being admitted he was gasping for air and in between thinking my dad had pneumonia or swine flu they intubated and sedated him. My dad’s cardiologist, who oversees his care, got on the phone and for the first time in all these years told me I should come to Brazil. That was on Thursday night. I called the airlines and on Friday was on a flight down to Brazil. The catch was I had two very important work meetings on Monday and or Tuesday. But my heart was telling me to go and if I could I would land on Saturday, leave on Sunday back to the US, land on Monday, and be back in time for the first meeting on Monday at 5pm.
Now why am I telling you all these things? Because in these couple of days I’ve had to experience and make many decisions which were not popular with some members of my family and friends. Everyone thought I was insane to fly 23 hours – door to door – for one night in Brazil. The consensus was go after the meetings or forget the meetings. Neither of those two options were acceptable to me. I needed to see my dad immediately. I needed my mom to know no matter what, I was there and would be there for her. And I also had to have those meetings because I have so often put what was important to me in last place; I couldn’t do it again. So I came up with an unpopular decision and listened to my inner-voice which knows better than anyone else what I Deborah have to do. It’s not easy to be quiet enough to listen to yourself and it is often hard to follow through when you don’t get support. But your inner-voice is your own intelligence. Which is made up of your history, how your process things and what is important to you.
Now, after the meetings, I will see what other decisions I need to make. Also no point in thinking how unlucky I am for when things are going in a positive way, something bad – my dad’s illness – happens and puts a strain on everything. No point in doing that, because that is life. We have no control over many things and hanging onto; it shouldn’t have happened this way, why now?, why this?, only adds stress. Life is what it is, not what we wish it would be. So we accept and we dance to the beat of the music playing. I would exhaust myself if I was doing the samba to classical music.
But while I was Brazil, I also heard one of the most beautiful things, I’ve ever heard. My father’s cardiologist is 82 years old and has been married to the same woman for 50 years. While we were talking he said to me: I have lived through lust and passion, I have lived platonic love, I have lived deep committed love and now I’m living goodbye love. I’m nuts about my wife. I want her next to me all the time. We have entered the process of saying goodbye to each other. “
May we all have someone to one day also live through goodbye love. That kind of love only comes after deeply committed love.
Please send my dad your good thoughts.