Just as I was about to leave for the evening, I caught his glance. A lonely figure resting in his wheelchair, Richard looked as if he could use some company. He did.
Listening to Richard's speech, I stuck to my intention to stay present for him, no matter what. That I could not make sense of his speech was besides the point. More important was letting him know that I was willing to hang in there with him. Richard kept on talking. There was mention of him being in an ashram. Oh! yes the ashram . . . I repeated empathically, remembering his past as a spiritual teacher and his many travels to India. He smiled, then resumed his disordered discourse. Just when I was starting to tire, Eddy the housekeeper came to clean Richard's spot on the dinner table. And I heard, loud and clear, Richard's "thank you". Eddy kept on with his job, unfazed. I thought to myself, "wow!"
When it was time to end, I thanked Richard for the gift of our time together. And I got a second surprise. "Yes, this was very special. Thank you." Richard took my hand and pulled it to his face. "I have fear." That was all he could get out, before drowning again into a stream of made up words.
Driving home, I got yet another surprise. In my heart, this time. Feeling so completely whole, and at peace.