My wife, Pam, has been ill with bronchitis and a fever this past week. Her languor keeps her for the most part confined to bed or on the living room couch watching TV. I minister to her with water and juice, Vicks VapoRub, little gifts, get well cards, a balloon, turning up the heat, taking on household chores, checking that she takes her medications, and healing intentions. The darkness within me resents her torpor, coughing, sneezing, choking, moaning, groaning, neediness, clinging, and overall lack of energy. I hate her fever, congestion, circles under her eyes, lack of appetite, and her emotions of anger and depression. My selfish “whiner within” complains about many necessary calls of duty: washing clothes, tidying up, making the bed, collecting the trash, tending to the dog, cooking (which means, for me, heating things in the microwave), and attending to my co-dependence even more so than usual.
But then a time like this past Sunday cracks open my heart and I realize who I really am. Sensing I needed a break, Pam urged me to get out, go to church, do what I wanted to do. I wanted to attend a lecture by a man recommended to me by my life coach of this past summer. After his presentation, I hesitantly decided to attend the service. I was in the midst of songs, prayers, and words of love when rain came down within my soul and leaked out from my eyes. I felt a longing for Pam. Where was my friend and mate who holds my hand and gives me knowing playful looks throughout these services? Where was her special presence, that deep part of my life that brings so much magnificence, like the ocean? Where did our sharing go? Where did the embracing of our souls go? Sadness and longing overwhelmed me as tears trickled down my face. I missed her so much.
After the last song, the peace song, I stopped in my turmoil to pray with a lay chaplain for Pam’s rapid healing. When she said, “I can see you really love your wife,” I almost completely lost it. With wet eyes, I bought Pam a little “Healing” candle at the bookstore and left quickly and quietly.
I love to be cracked open like this. My heart overtakes all the frenzied chatter of my life. These silent moments bring me to the realness of my soul and my humanity. I lay aside my 10,000 things. I let go of my daily distractions, obsessions, rushing here and there, and doings. I slow down to the speed of life within and feel once again deep, abiding, unconditional love for my anam cara, my soul friend, my wife.
Whom do you miss today? Who is your anam cara? Is it you? Is it God? Is there someone who shares the road of your journey here and your heart?
 I believe soul-felt intentions are prayers. Our intentions and actions, aligned with our soul’s desires, allow all of life to become a prayer. “Pray unceasingly”: live unceasingly!
 I employed a life coach to assist me through my transition to retirement. Refer to his website: barryteller.com
 Recommended books: Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey, Real Love by Greg Baer, Anam Cara by John O’Donohue.