Again – Chapter 19 – JohnA Passaro
We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
Sir Isaac Newton
There is always one question, that when asked of me, immediately brings tears to my eyes.
And that is, “How is BettyJane doing?”
I always answer it by saying, “She is a special person,” but on the inside I am dying when the words leave my mouth.
I know what she has given up.
I see it every day.
I see the intense passion she has to take care of Jess, the pleading she does with the universe for Jess to improve, and her total dedication to make sure Jess feels our love.
“She is a special person.”
What else can I say about a person who has given up her whole life, to see that her daughter has the slimmest possibility of regaining her life?
She has made the ultimate sacrifice.
A person cannot do more for someone than BettyJane has done for Jess.
For BettyJane to literally give up her life for the possibility, and not the guarantee, that her child may improve enough to live life again, is simply an amazing act of unconditional love.
There is nothing on this earth I have seen with my own eyes that I admire more.
Once in a while, people say stupid things.
They don’t mean to, but they do.
I have heard a few times that BettyJane will get over it with time.
You don’t get over losing a child.
Losing a child is not like a wall.
You don’t get over it and move on.
And even if you were able to mount the wall and get to the other side, you are not going to run away from it when you land.
You don’t want to.
In some aspects, losing a child is like a wall, but instead of getting over it, you must carry the wall with you, wherever you go, for as long as you live.
The wall is immovable.
You can’t go anywhere until you learn to move the wall.
You are just stuck in the same place, forever.
You can tug and tug all you want, but there are days when the wall will not move.
And there are days when it moves ever so slightly.
Over time, I have realized that in order to move forward, I must bring this wall with me. And the best way to do so is to metaphorically flood the soil near the wall with water, and have the wall float with me instead of my having to carry it.
Every act of love and kindness turns to water.
And water can penetrate and move anything.
It just takes time.
I am on this mission to have more good than bad come from my family’s tragedy.
The immense hurt and pain are a constant – they don’t go away.
So the only way I can win this fight is for me to elevate the level of kindness that I give out to others.
To convert love into water – that I can control.
I have learned that the smallest act of kindness I can do for a complete stranger has an amazing ripple effect.
So I drop kindness pebbles in still water everyday, and I watch the effect they have on other people’s lives.
It is amazing.
My favorite kindness pebbles are compliments.
There are times when I give a compliment to someone and their first reaction is to ask, “What are you, a wise
guy?” because they are not used to receiving compliments, or they don’t believe that I am sincere.
With each small act of kindness, with each compliment, with each thoughtful gesture, I get closer to winning this fight – to make more good than bad come from this.
With every act of kindness, more love is generated.
When more love is generated, more water is added to the soil near my wall.
Eventually there will be enough water to make my wall float through life with me, and my wall will become my raft and it will take me to see the world.
I have learned that it is much easier to travel on a raft than to carry a wall.
The number of pebbles I drop can never compare to the mountain that BettyJane has already dropped in life’s water.
“How is BettyJane doing?”
I hope I can answer that dreaded question next time it is asked of me by saying, “BettyJane is floating on her raft.”