This morning I started my day at a Mass at St. Matthew’s for a friend’s mom. This mom has struggled for many years with Alzheimer’. On the surface, her mind and body had betrayed her. But in reality, it was that same mind and body that raised two wonderful women and nurtured 5 grandchildren. The priest spoke about each of us having talents to be used to serve others. And in the end, it is in serving others that we define who we are and what our life has meant to others. That is in fact the purpose of our human condition. At the Celebration of Life for Jean, I thought about a poem I had written years ago in honor of my friend, Claudia, as she struggled on her journey in this life.
My Body Has Never Failed Me
My arms have wrapped around my newborn babies,
have hugged a friend with joy,
and have reached out to a stranger when a kind gesture was needed.
My hands have held my grandmother’s paper-thin hands,
have served warm soup to the homeless man on a cold winter night,
and have traced the sign of the cross on my children, myself, and my dying friend.
My legs have paced the hardwood floors with a sick child,
have supported me while standing on the sidelines to cheer my child on,
and have walked miles to raise awareness to rid the world of a disease.
My feet have waited at the front door for the prom date to be over,
have stood firmly planted and strong when the unwanted test results came in,
and have mimicked His faithful steps of compassion and companionship.
My eyes have seen true love reflected in my spouse’s eyes.
have conveyed sorrowed and secret promises,
and have watched with awe a hundred sunrises and a thousand sunsets.
My heart has fluttered with excitement upon hearing, “I do”,
has skipped a beat with the first movement in my womb,
and has paralleled the pain of my child’s deepest sadness.
So, understand, that my body has never failed me.
It has blessed me with the human experience,
given me the means to serve others,
and has housed my soul until it’s return Home.
My body has never failed me.
As Jean rests finally in peace, and in loving memory or Claudia, Kathy, and Big Vin……I will remind myself that it is my purpose, as it was theirs’, to serve others.