Saturday, June 4, 2011
The Little Secret Heart
My grandmother said that she had a little secret heart. It was that voice inside that would prompt her to do good things if she listened to it. Some people call it a conscience or the Spirit. Whatever you call it, it is a quiet voice that is easy to ignore when you are rushing through life trying to just survive.
A while ago I wrote about visiting a mother who had recently lost her own grown child. It was a wake up call for me and a reminder that these children are a blessing and not a burden. She was really suffering through her loss and it was painful just to see, much less how painful it must have been for her to experience.
We visited her because that secret heart of ours told us she needed a visit. But as life goes on, some days I focus more on myself and my own pity party than I do on others and what they need. It is so easy to ignore that secret heart when you don't feel well or are overwhelmed with your own life.
But my children still seem to listen. My daughter made a little gift for this lonely mama a few weeks ago. It was just a little paperweight, a rock decorated with colored paper. I told her we would take it to her and visit her. Though the kids had only met this woman once they remembered her and talked about her often and seemed to have a love and concern for her simply because she had been so loving of them.
But you know, life got busy. My daughter kept asking when we would take the present and I kept saying "soon" and we never did. It sat in our kitchen for a month. The visit was never made and a lonely mama who had lost what matters most was left alone.
We got the local paper the other day and found that this woman had died. Her grief over the death of her daughter had been so great that she had taken her own life. A tragedy compounded by tragedy.
You know, I wept for her. I wept for her loss and for her pain and grief and that it had overwhelmed her to the point that she could no longer bear it. But I also wept out of sorrow and regret. Sometimes I think that one of the hardest things about death is that we suddenly realize that not only will we miss that person, but that the things we "meant" to do will now forever be nothing more than a call unanswered. I wept because my secret heart prompted me to reach out to this mother. My children asked if we could do things for her. And I ignored that call.
We all have our choices in this life. I am not arrogant enough to believe that I could have single handedly "fixed" this situation. I do realize though that I knew she needed a comforting hand. I knew she loved to hold my children. I knew that my secret heart had prompted me to do more than I did for her, and I ignored it.
It is of course, too late now. She is gone from this world. My husband took the gift today to her funeral and gave it to her mother. Now this mother has lost her child and her grandchild in the space of less than a year. How I wish I had listened to that voice that inspired to do good. How I wish I listened to the voice of my own child prompting me to do what I should have done in the midst of my own life and trials.
What a sad post this is. I hope I can remember it though as I pass through life and always keep an ear open for the small things that we need to do for others.