Monday, September 6, 2010

Love; Part 3

The last two entries have been about love, but I am not done. I need to write one more. I have long believed that what we need, the way our lives work in a common and universal manner, all has to do with preservation of the species. We eat. We bathe. Fight or flight is still a basic instinct for survival. We have finger and toenails as a means of protection against damage and infection to our digits. We have body hair to either retain body heat and/or to keep the sun from scorching us. Even the tiny nose hairs help us to survive by filtering particles in the air. We sleep in order for our bodies to replenish. and it's not just mortal creatures that follow this preservation of the species thoughts. Fruit falls from branches, the seed inside nourished by the outer pulp of the fruit as it lies on the ground. Growth in plants all but halts while it flowers, focusing instead on the tiny seeds within.

But where does love fit in? How is it beneficial as a tool for preservation? I'm not talking sex. It's pretty obvious that sex is necessary in order to procreate. But love is not sex.

We all need love and we sometimes do some really strange things in the name of love. If it were just a case of love binding us to another person in order to better protect and care for our offspring, I could understand how it all fits in. But there has to be more to it.

A prime example would be the elderly, who fall in love just like their younger counterparts, without the possibility of procreation on the horizon. Love is a factor that we seek always, or that we depend on always. It doesn't seem to be limited to any age, any intelligence, or with any concern of health. Is it only a human condition? I don't know if animals fall in love, but I think it's entirely possible.

Lately I've been thinking a lot of Mrs. Brown. She was my older sister's mother-in-law. Her husband had passed away years before. She herself died a couple of years ago at the age of ninety three. Sadly, as she entered that latter years of her life, her mental condition suffered along with her body. In fact, for the last few years of her life, she suffered from dementia.

As her health deteriorated, her family decided it would be best for her if she moved in with my sister and my brother-in-law. (Mrs. Brown's son.) It was obvious that the end was not far ahead.

The family set up a pseudo hospital room in the house and rallied around the elderly woman whom they loved. One of her family members was my bro-in-law's nephew, a strapping, handsome young fellow, perhaps nineteen or twenty years old. One day he visited his grandmother who studied him for quite a while and in her confusion, decided he was one of her long ago 'beaus.'

She was in love, head over heels in love. She would awaken in the morning and immediately ask whoever was caretaking her, if 'HE' was coming to visit. Whenever the answer was in the affirmative, which was almost daily, she would ask for her hair to be 'fixed,' her nightgown to be changed, a pretty smelling lotion to be smoothed over her skin and sometimes even requested a little lipstick be applied.

This young man was extremely unomfortable with the situation. But he adored his grandmother, and simply held his discomfort at bay. He would sit for literally hours, holding and stroking her hand as she drifted in an out of sleep, gazing at him with adoration whenever she awakened. He certainly earned a star in his heavenly crown with the way he dealt with this.

She died a month or so after this 'affair' began. She died believing she was loved by a handsome young man whom she adored.


  1. What a lovely story about Mrs Brown. Your nephew should be very happy that he made her last days so great, he gave her something no one else could, that wonderful feeling of being loved and in love when nothing else in the world matters, except being with that person. Lets just hope that like Mrs Brown we can all have that experience at least one more time in our lives

  2. Sheila, it's actually my brother-in-law's nephew but I would be proud to claim him as a relative of mine. I know he was extremely uncomfortable but his disomfort did not deter him from letting her believe what she thought to be true.
    Bless her heart and his, too.

  3. Beej, what a beautiful story! I was about his age when my grandfather died, and only a few years older when my grandmother followed. I know that I would have endured any amount of discomfort, if I thought it would have allowed them to die happy. He sounds like a wonderful young man - due, in no small part, I am sure, to his family.


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

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