I received this note from my dear friend Jeff by email after he read my post about love and memory.
- - - -
Adam had a job in the garden, even before the fall. The fall changed his job from one of complete satisfaction to one of satisfaction peppered with thorns and thistles in-between. We, like Adam, are drawn to work and that for purposes for which we were created.
Your dad still yearns for work, for purpose, for duty. For decades his duty cared for a ranch and animals and a family. Even after all left, his duty remains to care for his wife. Not only did Adam have work, but he had a wife, as that is how we are built and that is how we are complete. Neglecting work or wife terrifies anyone who embraces duty as one of the only earth-bound purposes for which there is no substitute.
Even as the veneer of youth and our support in memory leaves us, we still remember our duty; if we honored such duty while we were young and full of promise. The testament of age shows when all veneer is removed and only that which is within is left. Age reveals who we really were.
For these reasons you are wise to let your father struggle with those things he may still do for himself. You may help, but he must come to the decisions. You may guide, but so long as he can button the coat, you must wait while he remembers. And while he walks through his workshop, he may not know how to make things from the tools there, but he may still fulfill his obligation to care and order those tools for the day when he may remember.
He still has a job. His oath to duty stands. His love for his bride remains and grows. He is a man. He is a son of Adam.