#Unconditional #storytime #sisterhood #love
This word is something I love ❤️
#Unconditional reminds me of my grandfather and how he loved me. He was a Holocaust survivor and used to say he never thought he would see another generation.
He would call us his “Naches” which is a Yiddish word that was roughly translated to me as meaning “treasures” although it’s true definition is more often interpreted as “pride and joy” so it may have been his way of expressing that sentiment. He knew at least seven languages and had been through so much, but he was a trickster wisdom spirit and used to play with me like I was a little tiger cub…roll with me on the floor and chase me through the house. I called him Quaa Quaa for years, until I was made fun of, after the sound he made when he would grab me and growl playfully as he kissed and hugged me with pure joy at having a grandchild at all, of living to see so much more than he believed he would have.
I somehow came to associate the word unconditional with my Papa, and his steady presence throughout my life was an example of the quiet compassion that came from losing so much of his own childhood to the atrocities of war and diaspora. He often joked that he was younger than me because he also lived through being shot in the face a month after my birth; I do believe he survived yet again out of sheer willpower just to see and love us grandchildren and get to do it all in one lifetime. He always said he had a second birthday in August, a second chance at life.
His unshakable faith in me, to bring something special into the world, has carried me throughout my journey and lifetime. His belief that I would “one day be a great person” and that I was, in his words, along my my sister and our cousin, his “dividends” (he also was obsessed with the stock market 🤣) was what has helped me stay true to myself on my own path, because I knew his love would light up the way I am to take.
I knew Papa would love me no matter what I ever did, but I didn’t know that his love could and would (and does) last beyond death itself and take me through each day feeling good about who I am and why I am here.
My papa used to always say, “to know where you are going you must know where you are coming from”. He taught me that I must not forget history, his- story, or my own, or that of my ancestors before me. That I must love people and stay connected to my roots, my humanity and my sense of justice to always stand up for the underdog or the ones who could not speak for themselves.
He showed me all this not only in words…also through his unwavering love. When you were with my papa there was a deep presence of compassion and humanity in everything he did. Through his wisdom and his stories I learned where I came from and how to move forward with love leading the way. I am who I am thanks to this man.
So when we spoke of the theme for this month in Tribe, there was no way to avoid speaking of him and letting his wisdom come to life through me once more. So many people go through life just wondering who they are.
I always knew. ❤💝❤
I was someone special, because I was loved beyond expectations and without definitions.
One of Papa’s favorite sayings I love to remember how he would say it in his thick accent, “Love is five minutes, obligation is 24 hours.” It took me quite a while to figure out that one. But the truth must be known, that is not the love that I’m speaking of. The love that I feel for simply the gift of human existence and this breath of life that I have awoken to drink in once again…these are my naches and dividends. My love goes beyond 24/7…it has no claim on time or even life itself, because it has lived on after death and will go on forever.
The very last words my grandfather spoke to me surprised me very much. The funny thing about my grandfather’s love is that he never actually used that word. Every Single time I would call him on the phone, when I finish talking to him I would say “bye Papa I love you” and his reply would always be, “thank you for loving me.”
The last time we spoke I said as always, “goodbye papa I love you,” and he replied, “I love you. Too much.” I hung up the phone and I cried because I knew somehow that was the last time I will talk to him.
So today, if my words have found you, you can rest easy and draw in a grateful breath for who you truly Are. Because, in that same way that I was shown to love, I love each of you. To be Free to Stand in your Truth, because You are So Beloved. You are Loved Beyond Measure . #unconditional #iloveyou #inlovewetrust