Omeme: What is Love? The bond between a father and his daughter

Sally “Omeme” Sandusky’s monthly column on life and her adventures

The moment is perfect it is filled with such an amazing sense of love. A melody radiates from my heart. Leaving red lip prints along my path as I walk down memory lane. It took me a while to get to that point; to realize that being in love wasn’t just being in love with one person, but with life, and those who are in it.

I once felt love so intense. That I believed with all my being that it was infallible. I thought a love like ours could never be broken, but break it did. Leaving this girl with a heart that was shattered into a million tiny pieces, that it was never able to be put together in the exact same way as before. It was after a long healing process that I was finally able to breathe.

From the moment I met him we were instantly joined at the hip. There was no me without him. The most brilliant person I know. He was one person who made me laugh. He was so full of life. When he walked into a room, he commanded attention, and by the end of the evening he knew everyone in it. He was the yin to my yang, or was he the yang to my yin.

The process of watching him slip away was painful. How do you love someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol? My babe was disappearing before my eyes. No matter how hard I tried to stop it, I couldn’t. It felt like a scalpel had been thrust into my heart. As I said before although the wound pierced my heart. It wasn’t blood that had coming pouring but love. So what is love? Whenever I need a gentle reminder I read this saying, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love never ends. Love knows when to step back.”

The cracks on my heart leave witness that it was once broken. I read once, when the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. Kintsukuroi. Maybe it was only me who knows my heart was broken and fragile. With time it needed to heal, and trusting my Heavenly Dad was able to fill the cracks with gold.

The heart is an amazing instrument. It’s steady beats are what help the body keep in time with the melody of life.

My friend Jarad posted something on Instagram and Facebook recently. It had me in tears. It wasn’t my best day. I burnt dinner, the bathroom flooded, and water was dripping into the basement, I couldn’t find the mop, and Dad wanted to get into the mess, even though I was trying to prevent him from falling. Jarad posted this saying about what is a dad:

“What is a Dad? A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall, but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. A Dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes but instead lets you find your own way even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. A Dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed and has faith in you even when you fail.”

This week has been difficult while we are going through a period of transition. While walking down memory lane, I have thought about Dad and how he is one of the strongest men I know.

The journey this year has been at times difficult, and painful while as a family we have fought dementia, Parkinson’s and head bleeds. When I read the post, I remembered how Dad would rescue me when ever I got stuck in the mud, or how he would climb a tree to rescue one of my cats in the middle of the night. Most importantly, he has been one of my cheerleaders.

So what is a daughter to her aging dad? A daughter is someone who tries to catch you before you fall. A daughter is someone who’s heart breaks every time you get hurt, tries to be there to protect you, and allow you enough space to try. A daughter is someone who will do the buttons up on your shirt when you have forgotten how. A daughter is someone who will remind you who she is, even when you don’t recognize her anymore.

What is love? Love is patient, Love is kind, Love never ends. It protects, believes the best, fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. Love is a verb.

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