Husband and wife for decades, love changed but not forgotten,
Old patterns long-ended replayed as though they were still for today.
To love another through their valley of diminishing.
To catch her again, not for a life time to come this time, but as she stumbles and falls in the closing years. And bleeds.
That young beloved now bedridden and only half there,
But still deeply loved, deeply cherished.
This is where true married love shines.
For she who was once mothered,
Now mothering her own mother in a confused season of life.
Their mother tongue flowing easily between them but foreign to everyone else.
To be the daughter to translate, to advocate, to seek the right help,
And make a way through all that is foreign and even more confusing.
To be financially rich and have it all, and yet broken in health and prospect.
This is where true daughter love shows.
Love new and exciting, and full of passion,
Young lovers together, with the future mapped out,
Yet walking together through suffering and hardship.
A late night visit to the hospital to seek the right help.
Questions and tears flowing unhindered, but answers less rapid and not-so-easy.
To face-up to the test of love, when all is not well.
This is where the truth of developing love is under scrutiny.
Mates and brothers and uncles and friends,
Damaged fingers and faces requiring stitches and unbending.
To speak of better days to come,
To be present more in body than with an ever-flowing torrent of words.
To remember the past days of glory, in current times more gory,
But to look beyond the brokenness and stand together as brothers.
This is where true brotherly love is forged.
I spent several hours at the hospital yesterday while a daughter was checked out. She is fine. But I was struck by the different people and scenarios rushing through the emergency department. None would have chosen to be there. But everyone who supported those who suffered showed a dignity I was humbled to observe. These are my words of tribute.