""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Love begets love

I read the obituary pages in the newspaper every morning.  Not out of morbid curiosity but because the lives of those who have died are worth notice and often honor and respect.  I pray for the families who are grieving.  News of the death of a child almost always brings tears.  As I read about men and women of my father's generation - the generation that Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation" - I am often in awe of their resilience and courage. An obituary in this morning's edition began:
A Tribute to Our Parents
Mary G. Crossland
Dr. Clem C. Crossland
Carrsville, VA

I read the lengthy tribute though I didn't know the Crosslands. It told me that they were compassionate and loving people who raised five children to model their own behavior and values.  At the close of the tribute the children ask something of the reader:

There are some debts that are so enormous that they can never be repaid in full, even in a small measure – and the devotion of one's family is one of those. In honor of our parents, we ask that each of you pay it forward by treating your own loved ones with dignity, kindness and compassionate care for as long as you have the strength and resources, for you will not regret a day that you do so.

The anniversary of my father's death is tomorrow. He was also one of "The Greatest Generation" and a man of great integrity, love, and compassion. I could never repay the debt I owe for his unconditional love, for the example he set, for the values he instilled in me and my siblings. We are a strong and loving family largely because of his example. As we approach this anniversary we are gathered in spirit at all times and in body whenever possible to support my brother who was diagnosed in early February with brain cancer. But my brother is not just the recipient of support- he and his love for us are equally integral parts of this teepee we have made by leaning on one another. We support each other as we did when we gathered following my father's death last March. Love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness - these elements heal and strengthen. They are medicine for the patient and the patient's family. They flow through us from God, wrap around us, and bind us together. May you and your family be bound together in love. Pay it forward - not because it's a debt to be paid or an obligation -pay it forward because that's what love does. Love begets love.


Donna said...

so incredibly true....I will think of you as I pay it forward...

Ginny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy said...

Ginny, what a lovely set of ideas, and an equally lovely set of photos of your family, all glowing in your enjoyment of one another. Wishing you well during these days of anniversary, and wishing all of you strength and grace during your brother's illness.