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The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth

“And in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make…” -The Beatles


I have come to say good bye to my friend as she enters the hospice phase of her cancer journey.   During the long 6 hour drive to get her, my memory of our meeting came back to me as though it was 20 days ago and not 20 years. She is an artist and most of my memories over the years with her are punctuated with her work- drawings for our almost card company landed on t-shirts and  long narrow canvases with the moon rising, illustrated children’s books and homemade games when our kids were smaller. In the midst of these memories, I welled up in tears, wishing I had been a better friend. I wished that I had looked for another way to reach her when our lives pulled us in different directions. Of all the friends I have known in my life, she is one of the very few who always had nothing but love for me.

So I arrived with healing gifts, wanting to say thank you for how she has loved me and to say I was sorry for where I didn’t try to reach out. As ever, through her glowing eyes, she said earnestly that she had never felt anything but love from me.

There were no apologies for the years in between, they just were. It was hard to see her beautiful lithe frame transformed by her illness into a body that was painful to inhabit. As I massaged her swollen legs, I remembered her doing the same for me as we waited on the birth of my first child.

Last week, I was reacquainted with the mother of a child who went to preschool with my own.   Her face was familiar but it had been ten years since I had seen her and now both of our kids were learning archery from the same coaches. She recognized me immediately and said, “You gave my son his 4th birthday party, it was three weeks after his father died and had just been diagnosed with MS. I couldn’t even go, but he still remembers it at the barn…” That birthday party that I hadn’t thought of in years came rushing back to me. I remember how much that little boy needed a birthday party and now ten years later, was so happy that I gave it to him.

I have long believed that the moment of truth in life occurs in the last minutes of our consciousness and is always a reckoning of love- of whom you loved and who loved you back.   Yet now I realize that love is reconciling in our life all the way along. We are all part of a great web, creating the moments of truth for each other. And even in the spaces where we feel we have come up short, love is there; in the gifts that you give and have long forgotten, love is there. In the years of distance, love is there still.

It is easy to get so lost in where we think our life is headed, caught up in the myriad of details and distractions that daily life presents that we lose sight of the fact that we are all just brief travelers here. As Rilke so beautifully described it is within each other that “we see what our hopes were, that we are alive to the tender intervals in this perpetual departure.” This is the real equation of life and the moment of truth that is happening all around us, right now.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


+ add your own
9:45AM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

I truly believe that small, almost inconsequential acts of kindness that we give to others really can make a total difference. I remember the first time I tried to go the grocery store alone after graduating from a wheel chair to a walker. I couldn't get my bags into the car, and a young man I'd never met stopped and helped me do so. It made my entire day and kept me going in my quest to heal and get stronger.

6:48PM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

Life is too short.. share your love freely

7:38AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Ovaj svijet je samo prolazan.Nadam se da idemo na bolji kad umremo.

8:42AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

We are all just brief travellers here. Too true.

10:39PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Beautiful article, and the picture that heads it is absolutely breath "takingly" beautiful!

5:23PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Many years ago I lost a dear friend that I still cry for. I didn't give her all the love I had for her when she was alive and 20 years later it still haunts me. Give all the love you have to give while they're alive. And love them for who they are not who you want to be.

10:24AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Moments of truth deluge us daily without our giving them a second thought.

1:48PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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