Memory of Love
Is there a more beautiful image than two wrinkled hands resting on top of each other? As if the lines in their hands have been formed to unite with each other… united for years, leaning lovingly next to each other, behind their bondage lies hidden the pain, joys, love and dreams.
Rosa has been suffering from dementia for ten years. Menelaus, her husband, one would expect to be an unhappy man who experiences the suffering of his wife’s illness and the difficulties of a daily life that bears no resemblance to the previous years of their lives. However, Menelaus is happy, he looks Rosa in the eyes in a different way. She is both his wife and his young child. For her, Menelaus may be “a good gentleman who takes care of her”, but for Menelaus, Rosa is his love.
Every morning, he helps her get dressed and they go to the park together. He grabs her by the arm and they walk. Every day he tells stories of a life that to Rosa seems foreign, but for Menelaus it is the memories of their lives that she tries to keep alive through the stories. In the afternoons she makes her coffee and sits on the balcony. At some point Menelaus gets up and leaves. He turns back with a rose. “I love you my Rosa”, he tells her and plays her favorite song. As I watched them through my window i couldn’t help but wonder if Rosa feels Menelaus’ claim of love to her, if she understands the way he looks at her.
Yesterday Menelaus fell ill, they did not go out on the balcony. But I heard their song playing from inside again and I saw Rosa open the window smiling. I smiled with her too. Love, music, the song of a man who does not stop sharing his love for her. She is the woman who fills his soul five decades now, this is the song of love. This is true love, the everyday love, the love beyond the interests, from the conveniences, the love that fights to remind them of its existence. The love that exists, that lives, that breathes through love itself.
To M. and R. for the love they teach to their children, to their grandchildren, to all of us.
A few more words…
Remember that only with love (of any kind) does this world move. A world that has been flooded lately with grief for those who have not learned to love, for those who have not learned to respect, for those who have not known the truth of pure love. Only by people like Menelaus can this world be moved.
Love makes us feel human, full of emotions, dreams and hope. To love with respect what touches our heart. Today, February 14th, is a simple day in the calendar for some, a world day of a commercial love for others, maybe just an opportunity to remember that love is just those loving and respectful hands that will touch each other sweetly, that will remind us that we are Humans!