Last night he asked if I wanted to do a heart share. We learned this technique from a workshop we attended on the power of appreciation.
We sat across from each other in my bed. I set the timer for five minutes. He went first.
“I appreciate everythjng you done for me,” he said. “I appreciate how you are including me so much in your family. I appreciate that you’re taking me to the beach with them this summer. I never had that, growing up, those times when my family went on trips and played together. We never did things like that. I love feeling like I’m part of a family. I appreciate your strength in dealing with your situation, and your courage. I appreciate that we work through things when conflict comes up, that we don’t fight and get mean with each other. I appreciate your smile, and your warmth, and how you get me my coffee in the morning. I love you very much.”
Timer was up. My turn now.
I told him I was sorry for shutting him out, for turning away from him, from not having faith in him hanging with me through this sudden onset of relentless pain. A herniated disc, my doctor tells me.
“I appreciate your humor,” I said. “I appreciate you being here with me, helping me through this. I appreciate how much I’ve watched you grow up, and the man you have become. I appreciate your silliness, your spontaneity, your comic relief to my seriousness. I appreciate that you tell me you’re sorry when you’ve done something that hurts my feelings. And I love you very much.”
These are the times when the pain is bearable, when the sunlight streams into the window in the morning, and the dog sighs sleepily at the foot of the bed, and in this moment I’m surrounded with love. I thank God I’m still alive, and I feel hope again. And he’s here with me, sleeping, and I am grateful.