When our grandmother passed away a few years ago I decided to use the internet to research our heritage. While surfing the information highway, I discovered the nacent technology of chatting online and joined a group of folks who defined themselves as spiritually enlightened . Most of the discussions revolved around the concept of unconditional love. I was fascinated. I traveled thousands of miles, visiting many popular new age areas, and spoke with numerous metaphysical spiritual leaders who's common goal seemed to be obtaining this unconditional love to fill a perceived void in their lives.
Being rather new to the mechanics of metaphysicis I had a difficult time understanding this void they spoke of. I didnt feel the emptiness that unconditional love was said to fulfill but I thought if so many were seeking it....this unconditional love must be something incredible so I searched on.
hours and days, ... weeks and years, ... creating complete life changes along the way, eventually bringing me back here.... home... to my family. Home... where I realized Id never find unconditional love in a search around the globe because as dorothy said upon her return from OZ..... I neednt look any further than my own back yard.
November 10th 1947 the doctor placed a beautiful baby boy into the arms of his mother, not telling her that her precious child had been born with what most, even today, consider a disability. Later when Mom was told her son, Dennis, had Down Syndrome and would best be placed in an institution, her response was "he's my baby and I'll take care of him". A truly selfless act of unconditional love.
Thank you Mom.
Dennis spent his life wearing a label of retarded. As I stand here today, I still wonder about that. Perhaps his mind didnt work in a manner that allowed him to freely and fully explore the world but I can unequivically state his heart and spirit were in no way retarded. His intellect may not have functioned the same way as most of humankind but that allowed him access to the full capacity of love in his heart and spirit, filling him up and spilling over, sharing it.... with everyone in this room... and hundreds more, blessing all of us with the wonderous experience of unconditional love.
Dennis shared his gift with me from the moment of my first breath. As children our playmates were blessed with the gift of his unconditional love. If he was teased he merely turned his back for a while and loved them anyway. There were no requirements to Dennis's love. He had no expectations of anyone. He didnt have to forgive because he didnt hold a grudge. We didnt have to be, do, or say anything... and he loved us.
During the the last few months of Dennis's life I had the awesome privilege of watching the process of his memories shift from his conscious mind... moving to the place where he functioned best.... his heart and spirit. He'd forgotten on a conscious level who his loved ones were but we all knew he continued to recognize us from that special place of his unconditional love.
As his time here drew to an end, Dennis remained my greatest of teachers for he taught me that searches for unconditional love were destined to fail. Those who were blessed with knowing Dennis don't have the void which concerns so many folks. Dennis has already filled all of us with the essence of who he is...
Pure, perfect, innocent,unconditional
Thank you Dennis, Your were, are, and forever will be...
Memorials, First Quarter 2001 | Main Index, Memorials
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