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Regardless, Love is Kind

 


Regardless, Love is Kind

The least likely person to hurt you, I’ve found is not a hurt person. We’ve heard in various circles, the converse. I taught our youngest recently that hurt people usually won’t hurt someone else. Let that sink in, to you the reader.

There’s a difference between a nice person and a kind person. My now deceased husband pointed this out to me about a decade or so ago. I agreed. Anyone can be nice. But not everyone can be kind. You have to choose to be kind. It takes some, more effort to be kind than to be nice.

It was August 2005 as I drove my dad back to my home from my Goddaughter’s christening. The drive was long and arduous. It was a Sunday afternoon, and a hot one at that. The traffic on Route 80 was quite often at a standstill that day. So, the usual near six-hour drive took an extra ninety minutes or so. The good thing was I was the driver and I have a long fuse.

If it were my dad then, he would have went through a half pack of cigarettes and perhaps four or six beers while driving. Yet here I was the anti-smoker extraordinaire and back then would only have a glass of wine if I knew for certain I did not have to go anywhere for the rest of the night. Then it was a modest glass of wine three or so ounces and sipped over a two-hour period or until I dumped it out in the kitchen sink.

During the ride that day I knew dad would want to have a smoke. So, when the traffic was at a standstill in the near ninety-degree heat, I put the car in park, turned off the engine and said,     

“Dad, I know you want a cigarette. Everyone is getting out of their cars. We aren’t going     

anywhere too soon. Go ahead and have a smoke. I’ll keep the windows rolled up.”

“Really?” He was stunned as we looked out the windshield of my car.

“I know you want a cigarette. Its going to be a long ride.” I remarked.

"Well, okay. I’ll do that.” He commented.

Dad got out of the car. I watched him light up and then as usual he began to speak to the people in front of us who’d gotten out of their cars as well. I knew he needed this. He was a social otter, besides his nicotine habits. Too, I knew he wanted a beer. But that would not be accommodated by me. One organ failure is enough. Most people can’t survive two organ failures at the same time. I say that with tongue in cheek because my dad was the exception.

 About forty minutes passed and Dad put out a cigarette as he and others realized Route 80 now had stopped being the perpetual parking lot for the moment or perhaps the hour. We were about an hour from Route 287 which would be about thirty minutes from our then destination.

 After arriving on Route 287 my dad told me the truth about why he chose to divorce mom, who at this point had died nearly two years before in 2003. I knew the information would go with me to my grave. It was so damning. It was spiteful. It was hurtful. I realized I couldn’t even tell my husband. It was that painful. So, I regarded it as sacred. There are things you just don’t ever reveal.

 Minutes later my dad continued to reveal his thoughts to me. We were now within five minutes of my home. Dad didn’t understand forgiving someone for a crime committed against me that changed my whole life and put me with pains that would remain perhaps for all my life. He didn’t understand why I pursued running so far while pained or at all.

 

“Even in physical pain if I give up. The bad guy wins. So, I run for love. My job too. When someone else is in pain, it takes me away from mine. To help them, I must come from an empathetic place of love. So, I can give understanding, and an ear to those so pained.” I explained.

My dad jumped on the love theory of healing.

“But Jody you need to feel sorry for yourself.” He stated.

“No. That’s letting the negativity win. And that isn’t love.” I bantered back.

“You’re kidding me. Right?” He remarked.

“No. In order to exist fully you kill the negativity with kindness Dad. It’s the only way to win.” I answered. To that he sighed with disappointment.

 His disappointment was in the fact that he wanted me to feel his misery. I knew not to. He'd become totally bewildered by my insistence that love eventually conquers all. That kindness to others helps heal the wounds of the world. Or at least the immediate world around us. Regardless, Love is Kind.---Jody-Lynn Reicher

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