But somehow I did, and the questions rose, the same questions that niggle every funeral or memorial service—why didn’t I appreciate this person more while she was alive? Why did I take for granted her wonderful qualities, which are all we can talk about now? Why do I go through so many days not realizing how thrilling it is to be alive and the preciousness of people around me. Every time, I vow I will change. Several weeks, or maybe just days later, I’m still the same person I was before.
...but we tend to shoot for the stars without building a spaceship.
She was happy for me in my accomplishments large and small, and shared my disappointments and struggles. My failings fell lightly into the well of her compassion, and her capacity for accepting me without judgment set off ripples of healing. In her eyes I saw myself and I was a thing of beauty.
Kay’s ready smiles, hugs and hospitality were a well that never ran dry. I hadn’t known Kay and her husband very long, when I told my husband, “That’s the partnership I want for us when we’re 65.” They spoke to each other in tones resonant with affection, humor and mutual respect. When their eyes met, they sparkled. They shared tender glances, thoughtful conversation, and a unity of purpose. My husband and I agreed, if we didn’t begin to build this relationship now, we would not have it later.
...if we didn’t begin to build this relationship now, we would not have it later.
Kay was a model for me in so many ways, a mentor, a friend and an inspiration. And it was clear at her wake and funeral—I did not hold the lone lottery ticket for Kay’s love. She saw a homeless woman at the drop-in center where she volunteered with the same eyes that she saw me.
And Kay was a woman of action. What her eyes saw, she did something about, something practical, something that made tomorrow a little better than today. To understand the force for good Kay wielded in this world, requires mathematics of the heart. Take what Kay gave me, times it by every person she knew and multiply.
of the heart.
Will I have the courage to learn from love? Do you?