such a heart…

i saw my son, josh, for a moment this morning.
and he looked a little off.
i asked about it.

and with sadness, he mentioned the passing of one of the elderly
gentlemen he had met at one of the nursing homes he works with.

the man had moved out of state at this point,
and in true josh fashion, josh was still in touch with his family.

josh’s relationship with joe was astounding to me.
he had told me about him, how he was big into music
and how josh had asked joe to assist him when he did his dj gigs there.
and how joe would pick out the music and be right there with him.
and how josh would go up to joe’s room and visit with him a bit.
and how he had helped him get more access to music.
and how the pair of matching red suspenders he bought was for
him and joe when they did their dj stuff together. and yes! there had to be special christmas suspenders as well!

he just casually said to me that joe had had a stroke and had some trouble
with his speech.

i happened to stop in this place during all this.
and i met joe.
joe didn’t just have some trouble with his speech –
he had TREMENDOUS trouble with his speech.
most of us couldn’t understand him.
and because of the muscle damage and that kinda stuff,
he had trouble with a lot. stuff that makes it hard to interact.
i’m guessing most of us wouldn’t know what to do with him,
and would avoid him.
and there was josh, seein’ the musical genius inside him,
and asking for his help.
there was josh, seeing the man inside the struggle.

it takes a certain heart.
and josh has one heck of a heart.
and while that is so beautiful,
a heart like that is gonna hurt when he hears the news of joe’s passing.
a heart like that is gonna carry such sadness.
a heart like that is gonna show thru his eyes that it’s just hard sometimes.

that’s the way those kinda hearts work.

as i drove away after saying goodbye to josh this morning,
i had tears in my eyes.
i wish there was an easier way for us all to travel on than this dying stuff
that we do. i wish we could all just know whoever it is we love is just down
the hall and there didn’t have to be the physical pain and struggles that there are. and that it didn’t hurt those that were left behind like it does.

the fact that we keep loving even tho we can’t change endings is pretty amazing. and the fact that josh can see the person behind the hardships is equally as stunning to me.

it takes a certain heart.
and he has that heart.
i wanted to stop and take a moment today to honor both these guys –
joe and josh.

i didn’t know joe.
all i know is he had a hard road at the end.
i am sitting here imagining him in peace now,
listening to his favorite music.
maybe helping the angels spin some heavenly tunes.

and josh, i am seein’ him in sadness now.
kinda wishing it was easier,
but so grateful he offers himself in spite of it all.
his heart is our gift.
and i am treasuring it today.
and wrapping that heart of his in light.