All love ever needs.


This is my Dad, showing his granddaughter Laxmi how his cane works.

Holidays are holidays. Joy and love commingle with frustration and impatience. This is the way of intimacy. Nothing to worry about.

This week, I kept thinking about a passage from the eulogy my Dad wrote for my Mom. He took care of her for many years as her illness made her increasingly more debilitated. And now, I’m caring for Dad in a similar way…as Pam does, as we all do; as Dad takes care of me, as we all take care of each other, imperfectly, sometimes with more grace and sometimes with less. And it’s all okay.

“When we had done everything we could for her, and nothing seemed to work any more and a sense of futility set in, it began to dawn on me that the only thing left to do was the most important thing I could ever have done all our life together: to be present for her and with her. Not to change or cure her, but to let her be, and let myself and our children be, with her. After all our years of marriage and being a family, I began to realize that this is all love ever needed or needs: being present for one another. This was enormously liberating, and her gift of peace. I wish I had learned it sooner; I hope I will never forget it.”

—Donald E. Byrne Jr.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish
Annville, PA
August 22, 2001

6 Comments on “All love ever needs.”

  1. Julie B says:

    Monica (and Dad), this post is such a gift to me and to us all. Thank you! Giving thanks! đŸ˜‰ xoxo

  2. mikebeaz says:

    Beautiful thoughts. I remember that eulogy very clearly. Love to the Byrne family from us.

  3. Patty Wirth says:

    Monica – my Mother is your Dad’s cousin, Mary Ann (Fuller) Brunhuber. My Aunt Jeanne (Fuller) Manzer forwarded the email you sent her with the photo and eulogy words of and by your wonderful father. When I was a young girl, I remember all the fun our parents would have at your Byrne Grandparent’s home on Forest Lake. Your Dad and my Dad would play guitar and sing songs and dance – I am sure that a few cocktails were involved in this merriment!!! But they always were fun to observe. I thank you for sending this to Jeanne. I will show this to my Mom. If it is alright with you and your Dad, I would like to save the eulogy reading. Just beautiful. I saw your Dad a few years ago at a Byrne family funeral. It was so nice to visit with him. Please give him a hug and wish him a Merry Christmas. To you and the whole family too. Patty Wirth

    • I think he would love that, Patty—if you’d like the whole text of it, just let me know and I can send it to Jeanne to send to you. Thank you for the kind words! Dad’s guitar playing was and always will be magical to me, too.

  4. linda says:

    I just found your blog after ordering a copy of your book which I am anxious to read.
    What your father wrote really touched me as I am caring for my aging mother. The words are beautiful and true. Thank you for sharing.

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