Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Healing Love in a Hug

The touch of a hand, a smile, a hug... sometimes that's all it takes to turn the day around. A few days ago, I forced myself to go visit Grandma Martha. I hadn't been feeling well. I was so tired, but I could not shake the small voice that said "go"; I pulled myself together, combed my hair, and headed out.

When I arrived, I had to wait. They'd changed the security code. I finally made my way over to the dining area. Scanning the faces of the ladies, I didn't see her at first, then she raised her hand in a wave. On her face was a huge smile. As I came closer, Grandma raised both arms into the air for a hug. It was all I could do not to weep. She looked so small, sitting in her wheelchair with upraised arms. I bent down, and she pulled me in close and held on so tight. It was a long, healing embrace. I sailed back to my childhood, to the safety I always felt in Grandma's arms; I hope I brought her that same feeling of safety, of love. I owe her so much, this once powerful woman of God. She taught me to pray; she taught me to sing; she showed me how powerful faith could be; she lay beside me on my bed, praying for healing, when I was near death.

How do I say "thank you" when she doesn't remember all she's done; when the memories of her life are confused and clouded over? How can I make up for all that I left unsaid? It has to be in the small things; the hugs, the holding of her hands, giving love and comfort. She no longer appreciates the grand gestures, the expensive gifts. Now it's all about what the heart can appreciate. Even when the mind isn't clear, the body, the soul, and the spirit can be touched with the healing love of an embrace.

As I left that day, I turned at the door to wave. She was smiling and waving just as I knew she would be. My drive home was much more joyful than the drive there had been. My heart had been touched with the healing power of a smile and a hug.

copyright 08/29/2009 ajj


Donna said...

What a wonderful joy you are sweetie! She'll Always remember what You mean to her...that's all that counts...Thank you for all Your prayers for my family!!! You are a Joy, to me!hughugs

Donna said...

Beautiful! These moments are the true joys in life. Bless you for going to visit with her.

Julie said...

Oh Nita - this blog brought bittersweet tears to my eyes as I read about your sweet grandmother which sounds so like my own experience with my grandmother. Thank heavens for these grand ladies that are a beacon in our lives...such a treasure to us as we are to them. Blessings to you sweet Nita Jo.

Thank you for also visiting my blog via the Feathered Nest and Lee and your lovely comments - Julie

Cherrie said...

What a beautiful post! My grandmother passed away when I was fifteen of cancer and my grandmother on my dad's side died 3 months before I was born from cancer also. I guess that is why being a grandmother myself now is extra special. I want to make lasting memories for my grandkids!
Take Care,