For my entire life I have been praying for him.
The first time I prayed for him I could not speak words yet. But my cries reached heaven knowing, I know now, those tears were not for me but for him.
By the time I met God and could understand that He could change things I was 5, so I looked straight to heaven and I asked, I asked.
I looked straight up and my sentiments without words floated up like a white baby dove with a message tied to its leg. A message that only God understands.
By the time words began to ride on those sentiments, the words were not always nice words. Some time those words were written on rocks thrown up to heaven. But the message has always been the same.
He is so terribly lonely, so abandoned. All his friends have left him and not a single relative calls him. He seeks out strangers to make small talk with but they move away. He is so desperately lonely, desperately longing for conversation, desperately for someone to love him and understand him, though he would never say that. He so desperately seeks to break away from that loneliness and finds no relief.
He’s a man that has truly known what it is to be admired; his artistry is of extraordinary quality. But he glided thru those experiences with superiority and prowess as the only members of his team.
And now I look at him, as his memory fails, his hard heart, like a black hole growing more intense as his mind shrinks, but like my friend says: “The heart does not get dementia,” his heart is harder than ever. As he remembers less and less, his memories are all muddled supporting what his heart has always had – hardness, resentments, ugliness, vengeance, punishment, punishment, punishment…..
My prayer to God is deeper, heavier, more conscious and deliberate than ever. I now lay it every day, every daily Mass, every consecration, every night prayer, at Blessed Mother’s feet. The true implication of his hard heart is keenly understood. He has lived in hell for so long and he now does not remember what it was like to not live in hell. And while living in hell, he remembers more and more that he was an altar boy and thought of becoming a priest. He remembers that his mom used to put a rosary in his pocket and made him carry it, thus surviving being run over by a car 3 times and the tire tracks always over the pocket with the rosary.
That man with the hard heart and the primal nonverbal message that floated up to God so many years ago, linger in the air no longer toward God but towards him, with the same empty cup feeling that has been my companion all my life, but now no longer hoping or longing for that empty cup feeling to disappear. I now know it will never be filled.
I no longer need to know that God will answer me. I no longer have to know if God hears me, a life time of asking has taught me that God does answer, and He does hear me.
I know, I know more than anything else I know, that the hard heart man will not end up in hell, for no other reason than I have asked. My life is a continuous prayer for his salvation. It did not begin asking for his salvation. I could not possibly have known that for many years but God has given the words to my prayer and the words are:
Thank you for having saved my father.