Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grace

Grace is not the property of youth or talent. We find the necessary measure where we need it most: in our own good humor, in the love of family, or in the kind act of a friend.
—Claire Davis

What does grace mean to you?

The "Webster's New World Dictionary " definition is...1. pleasing quality, favor, good will, thanks etc. 2. an attractive quality, feature, manner, etc.

To me, grace is elegance, politeness, a generosity of spirit, the capacity to tolerate or forgive. Grace personified is my friend Beckie and her caregiver Sheila.

These are two women who epitomize poise and dignity.

To Sheila, grace is natural. She never takes things too seriously. She is relaxed, her grace is admirable. She looks after my dear friend Beckie who's picture should be under the definition of grace in the dictionary.

Even in the throes of a terrible mind-altering illness, Beckie retains an easy acceptance of all living things. Although she no longer "remembers" my name, she knows "of" me. There is something that she can trust in our closeness and from time to time a slight flicker of remembrance brings a smile to her face. She still has more concern for her guests than herself, never quite settled until each one has a cup of tea in hand.

She can revert to acting like a small girl some days. She used to recount the story of how put out she was, when, one day, being all dressed up, no one mentioned that she looked "a ducky little girl". Some days she acts anything but "ducky". Even in an outrage, she can usually be brought back by a soothing caress or a quietly spoken encouragement. Grace under fire.

I have never left her, but that she pleads for me to come again and enjoy another day with her. She's always so happy to see me and so complimentary that it makes our visits excruciatingly humbling. She loves her family so much, one of the talents that has defined her over the years. She is one of the most generous women I know.

They say that when you lose your filter, you revert to your true nature. How wonderful and inspiring to know that the woman I instantly fell in love with on first meeting almost thirty years ago, was, and still is, the real deal.

My visits are much less frequent now, but I'm always overjoyed when I do get into the city to see her. When people ask, "Why do you bother visiting her any more? She doesn't even know who you are"....I reply....ah yes, but I remember who she is. This is how I know what grace is.

5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful message you have composed today. The qualities which you see in Sheila and Beckie which exemplify grace, are those which others recognize and appreciate so much in you.
    "Leslie: Treasured friend. Woman of Grace".
    That's what my dictionary says!
    Helen

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  2. Wonderful message today which brings tears to my eyes.As we age we all hope that we are able to maintain elements of grace and dignity. Having wonderful friends like you to help us in the bad times is a true blessing. Becky is very fortunate to have you as a friend.

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  3. Wow, as I crying my eyes out I read your blog. You are a gift to us all and I so thrilled that both Sheila and Beckie still "grace" each other with there care for one another. What a gifted pair. And how fortunate her family and friends should feel to have them both. It's a daily challenge at best, as we both know, but the rewards could be tremendous. Bravo for todays blog. Love you.

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  4. This was so beautiful to read and it moved me to tears. Beckie and Shiela are truly blessed to have the warmth of your friendship and I am sure that they treasure it as I do. You see beauyt in so many things and give so much to others. You my dear friend Leslie are truly filled with Grace.

    Love

    Susy

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  5. When I think of the word "grace" I also think of the Italian word, "gracie", (thank-you); to be gracious, then, is to be thankful. I think the most gracious people are those who are truly thankful for being on this earth, no matter what their status, position or role in life. I think we could all be a little more thankful and thereby a little more gracious.

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