He lived alone for 20 years – more even.
Ever since 1991, when his beloved wife Fran had to go into a nursing home with her Alzheimer’s, and then for the 12 years after she died and before he followed her into death this past April.
I remember sending him it.
My daughter had sent it to me.
Between me and other family members, we saw him four days a week but I suspect the other days were long indeed.
I hope that it comforted him and that he believed its message. Anyway here it is.
It’s called ‘Everything is Waiting for You’ and it’s by David Whyte.
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.