February is the month of LOVE so I thought I would share with you one of the greatest love stories I have been fortune enough to witness...
This past weekend I had the honor to attend the funeral of the late Daniel Oravec, my gramma's husband. He was truly a man that spoke and demonstrated unconditional love every day of his life. It was easy to see that on all the faces who attended his funeral; lots of tears that day but through them still there were smiles of joy to celebrate his extraordinary life.
Let's back up a little...
For most of my life I have always known my gramma, Edwinna, to be a strong, independent, and self-sufficient woman. Her and my grandfather divorced when my mom and her sisters were in high school. Edwinna dated a few years after their separation but by the time I was around, she was pretty much a single lady. It wasn't until about 5 years ago when Edwinna went back to her hometown to attend a high school reunion when she reconnected with an old acquaintance, or little did she know her future husband, Daniel Oravec. Dan managed to get her phone number and then the pursuit for Edwinna began. It took some time to crack her open as she resisted the first few months of his courtship.
Now that I have been a single gal myself, I completely get it. After your heart has been broken, you can not help but to put up walls to protect yourself. And the longer those walls are up, the harder it is to remember how to bring them down or to even know how to begin to function if they do come down. But Dan was slow and patient and demonstrated nothing but unconditional love for Edwinna.
The first few times we talked of her new beau she would say something like, "I will date him but I will not move in or get married!" And then next time her tune changed to, "I will move in with him but I will not get married." A few songs later, they hosted their wedding day in the house they built together.
It was quite a lovely experience watching my gramma surrender to love, and to see that love not only found her but found her her very own soulmate. Dan and Edwinna beamed when they were around each other. Their love was infectious. It was something that kept me going through my divorce when I stayed with them for a few weeks. It gave me hope that love would find me again too.
For now, this story comes to an end a few weeks ago. Dan had been in/out of the hospital for about a month. His last night on Earth, he came home with hospice care. He feel asleep with Edwinna by his side and she witnessed his last breath. She told me about his last moments of his life and how she experienced that he was truly full of love. As life left his body she could still feel the warmth of his love with her. As she continues on her journey here, Dan will guide her in ways that maybe he might not have been able to do as a mere mortal. His love will always be with her unconditionally until they join together again for eternity. This I know is certain.
If I learned anything from their LOVE story is that LOVE is all around us, we just have to let it come into our hearts. Reach out and let a loved one in a little closer to you during this month of LOVE and speak of your own unconditional LOVE for them too.
Much love and peace to you.