Blog Post: The Mystery of Love

We are coming very close to the day when my best friend, Jim, dropped to the ground from a massive heart attack last year and was without oxygen for ten minutes . My body is remembering. I’m tense, a little anxious, wanting to see him, just to be sure he’s okay. It’s irrational. I know he is fine, back to work, taking care of his mom who now has dementia, and his awesome dog, Francesca. He’s sailed on Great South Bay. He drives again. He calls me and texts. He’s okay.

That day though, for a split second, I think my heart might have stopped with his. The shock caused my hair to fall out a month later. It’s amazing what sorrow can do.

But we got that miracle. God is good. She hears battle cry prayers and I sure prayed them. And then when I knew Jim was clinically too far gone to come back after nearly a week-long coma and a grim prognosis if he managed to live, I had a chat with him while sitting on my bedroom floor. And I told him I loved him and if he needed to that it was okay to go. And I cried.

Two hours later he came out of that coma and wiggled his toes on command. No one expected this. Doctors had no explanation.

Jim’s journey back to health took months. But by September he was back in the classroom teaching social studies.

Miracle Boy.

Last night I had this beautiful dream of him (the first dream ever, actually), painting the most magnificent landscape of Sedona. I was in awe and hugged him tightly and said, “Could you always paint?” And he said “no, this happened after my heart attack.” I asked, “No classes or lessons?” And he said, “Nope.” And kept painting, despite me not letting go of him and crying with pure joy.

So much in my life has changed since that bleak week. I’m pretty sure I’m not even the same woman. I love a lot more fiercely since almost losing Jim. I have a way deeper relationship with my Creator. Perhaps the most important people I’ve met in Colorado have walked into my life. I see how infinitely blessed I am. Life might never be Party Perfect. But there is always love, I tell you. There is always the mystery of love. Don’t ever take it for granted. Don’t ever underestimate it. And don’t ever miss an opportunity to share it.

Because to boil it down to its essence, my friends, God is love. Which means we should never, ever fear it.

Blessings and peace on your journey,

Maria Mandarino