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Perspective: We celebrate love

Katie Andraski

Recently I went to Alan’s celebration of life and wish I’d spoken. I did not know him as a proud horse show dad, watching his daughter ride her pony over jumps, or as a man standing by a quiet stream throwing lines out for fish. I did not know how precise he was working in the dairy industry, or his handsome, assured presence.

The Alan I knew had Parkinson’s, barely able to walk, or speak, or cut up his own food. I was tempted to avert my eyes, but I watched how carefully his wife took his elbow to help him stand or sit, with only love and respect, and absolutely no resentment on her face. I watched his daughter dressed in elegant white, dancing the father daughter dance, awkward because the disease had taken his grace, but their love was stronger than two legs waltzing.

When we drove by Alan and Susan’s house, I saw Greg’s truck parked there, often on his precious day off from hard manual labor. At the celebration, I heard how Alan’s friends visited him, how they kept him engaged and happy.

I wish I’d said what I saw, a love that persists in sickness and in health, in February, the month when we celebrate love, that surprises us with mud season one day, and hard driving snow, that blinds us when the sun shines, the next.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University. You can read more of her writing on Substack at Katie's Ground.