Love tolerance and compassion are the watchwords:
Meet Charley & Lucy. Charlie is a 94 yr old WWII vet and POW survivor. He was captured by Hitler and freed by General Patton. Lucy is a retired nurse who is wheel chair bound after rescuing a man before he jumped to his death from a hospital window some years ago. Truly a ride or die pair, the couple was referred to me after visiting with a colleague who’s office was not wheel chair accessible.
In May I met with the couple in their home to start working on a joint living trust and pour over wills for their estate plan while they told me some amazing stories about their awesome life experiences. Remarkable evening indeed! Since then there have been a few ups and downs including a medical scare that required executing some temporary estate documents and taking an unexpected trip back out to the residence.
What I admire about Charley and Lucy is that the quality of their partnership is reflected in their presentation and poise. I’ve now been over to their home about four times and each time that I’m there I’m greeted by a proud and very well put together pair. I particularly like Lucy’s taste in patterned dresses along with her pearl necklaces, and Charley’s collection of sweaters and bow-ties. I recognize that it must take the two of them several hours to prepare for my visits, something they don’t have to do at all. Neither can walk without assistance which means they have to assist each other. Neither can balance without outside help, which means they must take turns offering support. I imagine it must be a process that requires the continuous demonstration of love, tolerance and compassion as each one struggles to help the other. The narrow hallways of the one bedroom apartment can barely accommodate Lucy’s chair. Turning around in one of the many many tight spaces is a 5-10 minute ordeal. Having witnessed the challenges with mobility first-hand, it is a mystery to me how some of it is even physically possible at all. Yet the couple manages with grace.
After a few times, it became quite clear to me that the effort that has gone into preparing for my visits is inspired and fueled by the values and commitment that these two share as a couple. As a family. I think it must be their shared commitment to those values and to each other that makes the impossible possible. And I think it must be their consistent practice of showing love, tolerance and compassion that has allowed them to perfect the process and make it look so easy.
We aren’t born knowing how to relate to or live with one another. We all come from and end up in very different #family situations. Some are easy to navigate and some are not. Love, tolerance and compassion seem to be the watchwords. When they are applied our challenges don’t disappear entirely, but if we’re consistent we might manage to smooth out some of their edges with a little touch of grace.