Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,
As you know, I have been in the process these past few weeks of changing jobs and also moving. It has been a very intense and wonderful time, and although at times I have felt a little overwhelmed, for the most part what I feel is JOY!
Monday evening was my last shift at my former job, and because I have a deep love for the many residents and clients that I have been working with and serving there, I decided to write good-bye notes to each of them who are able to read and understand. This was not a small task and involved writing about 35 letters! It was very important to me to thank each person in a specific way for the blessing that they have brought into my life and soul.
I cried my way through the writing of these letters, as I Grieved and Let Go. One thing about working with the elderly is that there are always Good-Byes involved. It is not only the Good Bye at the time of Death…it is also the gradual Good-Bye that happens as cognition and recognition declines that is also a very real part of those relationships. I know that when I come to visit in a month a lot may have changed for any number of them.
I went from apartment to apartment and delivered the letters and spent a few minutes with each client at the beginning of the shift. Then as the evening went on I administered medications and assisted them with the usual tasks, but each encounter was very moving, very tender and also very bitter sweet. Each client poured out their gratitude in their own way, thanking me for being there, thanking me for the love I have shown them, and telling me how much they would miss me. It was like a chorus of love and gratitude being sung to me all evening and I was very humbled and moved.
Perhaps because I am more Present than ever, all that love reached me. Perhaps because I am more Conscious than ever, I was able to really experience each encounter at its core. And it was Spectacular.
Eddie is one of these clients, and he and I have a very quiet and yet deep bond. He is shy and quiet and doesn’t talk too much, but we have come close in a very non-verbal way. I know he suffers a lot of loneliness since his wife passed away quite a few years ago and they were never able to have any children, so he has no close family.
I knew it was going to be particularly hard for me to say Good-Bye to Eddie. I had delivered my letter to him in the afternoon and when he asked what it was, I told him…and he was visibly shaken…(although I had forewarned him last week that I would be moving and changing jobs. He said he thought I had been joking when I told him that, and so he hand’t believe me. ) But now he was so sad and also I could see him struggling to be composed.
Then, it was as if a deep light starting coming through his eyes…and he sat in his recliner with my letter in his hands, and tears were running down his face. His lips were quivering but his voice was so strong and so paternal and so sincere and he said to me:
“Gabriel, you do not know what this means to me. You do not know that every time you have come into my room, I have felt and safe and better. You do not know how much this love goes both ways. Do you know what I am going to do with your letter? I am going to put it in my Safe. I have a Safe that my wife gave me on our second wedding anniversary (68 years ago!), and it is going straight in there with my most precious things. I will never, ever forget you. Please promise me you will come and visit.”
Well, my friends, I was overcome with love and the poignancy of the moment. To think that Eddie was putting my little letter into his Safe, was a very surprising and humbling and touching thing.
The rest of the evening I thought of how Safes are what people keep their treasures in. Safes are what the banks use to guard peoples money and treasures.
And our Hearts are really Safes, too, that protectively hold the Treasures of Love that we have in our lives. I could not help but think of the words from the the Gospel of Matthew 6:20, where the Lord is teaching about the value of Treasures. Certainly Eddie and I both knew that our love for each other was a most precious Treasure and I knew his Safe was the symbol of his Heart. I know our love will continue on into Eternity.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“ Nie skarbcie sobie skarbów na ziemi, gdzie mól i rdza psuje, i gdzie złodzieje podkopywują i kradną; Ale sobie skarbcie skarby w niebie, gdzie ani mól ani rdza psuje, i gdzie złodzieje nie podkopywują, ani kradną. Albowiem gdzie jest skarb wasz, tam jest i serce wasze.”
“ Non vi fate tesori sulla terra, ove la tignola e la ruggine consumano, e dove i ladri sconficcano e rubano; ma fatevi tesori in cielo, ove né tignola né ruggine consumano, e dove i ladri non sconficcano né rubano. Perché dov’è il tuo tesoro, quivi sarà anche il tuo cuore.”
You are all a Treasure that I keep in the Safe of my Heart. Thank you for sharing this journey.
With love and respect, z Miłością i Zaangażowaniem, Con Amore e Impegno,
Gabriel Orion Marie
* For those of you who may not know, I have published a series of three books that tell the story of my recovery and healing from profoundly intense physical, sexual and spiritual abuse. These books have dozens of paintings that I did during my process and those paintings are a core form of communication I used in my Healing. These books are available on Amazon. I hope you will read them and pass them on to others!
This White House (Book One), Going Sane (Book Two) and A Spectacular Dawn (Book Three)