A Love Simple and Pure

A Love Simple and Pure Matilda Lindgren

I had gone to check on Daniel, and as I tried to open the door something was blocking it from behind. I squeezed my way in and saw that two chairs had been pushed together to make a bed, and in it, Daniel’s friend was sound asleep. I turned to leave quietly, and as I did Daniel awoke and called my name. His startled guest called out, “Daniel! Are you okay, baby?” Daniel struggled to grasp what was going on and, after a little soothing, he fell back into a deep sleep. I offered his friend some pillows or an extra blanket. She politely declined and settled back into her makeshift bed. As I left, I saw her watching Daniel intently. Something about this made my heart break and fill with love at the same time.

This friend was not Daniel’s wife or even a blood relative. She was a friend–one of several who visit to sit with Daniel as he continues to decline. They help clean his room, bathe him, change his bedding. They bring all kinds of different foods, begging him to just try a little. They stroke his hand when he’s in pain, they wipe his head with a cool rag when he’s sick. But mostly, they just sit and keep him company.

This is real love at its most simple and pure.

It’s the kind of love that flourishes here at The INN Between. It’s what makes one resident walk a mile to buy a ginger ale for someone in the house who is feeling sick. It’s what makes one man, who others find brash, carry another man upstairs to his room because he is too weak to walk. It’s what drives one woman to stay up all night sitting with a man who says he’s afraid to be alone.

In my two and a half years at The INN Between, I have watched our residents take care of each other. They look in on each other, share their food and belongings and call me with concerns about each other. Our home is full of love, and I witness it daily.

On Valentine’s Day, I passed out cards and candy to our residents. Several of them said that I shouldn’t have, they didn’t have anything to give me. I laughed and told them I didn’t expect anything. But, I wish I would have said that every day they give me something more valuable and sentimental than any cards or chocolates or gifts. They give me the opportunity to witness true acts of service, kindness and love toward the other members of our home–acts given from a place of genuine caring and concern. This is real love, simple and pure.

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