In my HeartShadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile
If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile -- Warren Zevon
I used to think everybody has a person in their life that causes their mind to stretch into a new realm. I know now that people like that are unusual and considerable gifts. You get them for short time, and that time is your measure of what you can absorb and develop into something new.
I am a person of faith. I am also a skeptic of organized religion. To me, this makes perfect sense.
Organized religion doesn't reach me. The sermons do not hold my attention, nor do they dictate my behavior. Yet, I felt that both those things were the ultimate goals.
Reading about the intentions of Christ on this earth speaks volumes to me. I feel in my core that this is the measure in which the evolution of humanity is hinged. We will plateau unless we reach a level of love for each other that mirrors the love Christ enacted towards the least fortunate.
Gertie showed me through the way she went about her daily life that public and private piety were not exclusive. Her example, which began with the day and ended when she laid her head down, was a true example of taking the teachings of Christ, be they humility, kindness, selflessness or love, and simply living them. In pain for nearly 50 years, she endured. When she stumbled, she tried harder, when she saw need, she filled, when she saw hurt, she loved. In all things, she laughed, loved, and lived with lively interest.
Her faith was a strength, and her goal was to just be more like Christ -- more loving, more accepting, more humble, more appreciative. These qualities helped raise 10 amazing children, and they in turn marked the starting point for yet more loving families as grandchildren grew up and flew away into the world.
A tiny woman of sheer strength, self possession and determination won my heart and admiration. Losing her leaves me once again with a book in my hand, questions in my heart and a jaded eye.
It also leaves me with a flesh and blood example of why the journey is worth it.