Love is a funny thing because there exists such a wide range of emotions to describe the concept yet what remains constant about love is that it is needed, actually, required for human life to survive and thrive. The example I present today is the wellspring of love radiating from the family of 13 year-old Jahi McMath, who continues to show the world what love, conscious resolve, and a lot of determination can do.
If you are not familiar with the story of Jahi, she is the young girl who was declared brain dead following complications from from a surgical procedure. The family disagreed with this and fought to have Jahi to remain on life support, which ultimately resulted in Jahi being moved from her home state of California to New Jersey. While a death certificate was issued in California, the family has recently released video of Jahi appearing to make movements with her feet and hands at the sound of her Mother’s voice. You can view videos here for yourself…
Now, when I watch this, I feel and experience a Mother’s love and determination that is incomparable to any other type of love. I don’t know or care what the medical textbooks may or may not say about Jahi’s condition because what I just witnessed was a young girl who can hear her Mom’s voice and she is responding to it. It reminds me of a few times when I was in a deep sleep but I guess partially asleep when I could hear people talking but I couldn’t wake up. I was fighting so hard in my sleep to wake up and it took a lot of work and energy. One time I was able to wake up and thought that experience was the weirdest thing but afraid to discuss it with anyone because surely I didn’t think they would believe me. Another time, I couldn’t wake myself up and remember falling back into sleep feeling defeated that I couldn’t wake myself up. Now, I am a healthy adult and know what that felt like and it was very scary to even be in that kind of state and actually witness it but not able to do anything about it. I can’t even imagine what is happening with Jahi and her hearing voices, no less, her Mom’s voice, and she is trying hard to respond. Now let me interject, I in know way am trying to compare my dream-state experience with what has tragically happened to Jahi, but my goal is to paint a picture of being in a place of helplessness and needing help but no one knows that you need help or even how to help.
In watching these videos, I profess that this is what real love looks like (to me). You never give up no matter what the odds are. While my goal for this post is not to stir up any debates about life support and the state of being brain dead, or quality of life, I would like to share the story of unconditional, uncompromising, steadfast love. We can talk about the different types of love and suggest that a parent’s love is different than the love of a man and woman. But is there really a difference? Say’s who? When real, genuine love exists in your heart, it is like a faucet that can’t be turned off. You respond to love in kind with love and it’s a force that can’t be stopped.
So my message is to never give up on love. The emotion may have to shift in intensity at times, and the timing and proper perspective should guide the intensity of love, but the power and resoluteness of love should never be questioned. It is definitely something that every human should unequivocally experience. Jahi is so blessed and fortunate to have that type of love that surrounds her, encourages her and keeps her elevated in a realm that we will never be able to understand. While truly none of us really knows what is going on with Jahi and should refrain from judgment and politicizing something very sensitive and real for her family, we cannot deny that love is truly a magnifier that reveals that all things are possible, and it’s okay to be believe in miracles.