Sunday Thoughts

challenges

The weather here has retreated back to winter for a few days.  An Alberta Clipper dumped a few inches of snow on us in a very short time this morning, and now has stopped.  Yesterday it was warm and rainy, typical spring weather.  Like me, the weather can’t quite let go of the past, yet, knows that the best is yet to come. 

Still, I know that the past is not what I want. And the future is so bright, right now.

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. Well…not getting to sleep, staying asleep. I think, left-over emotions from Maggie’s passing. She was the first living being that I have stood by, watching as she left this world little by little. Letting her go, little by little. And grateful, when her time came, that she was no longer in pain. Grateful that she had been in my life for these last 8 ½ years, to comfort me when I most needed it, to love me when the darkness came, when the fear for and missing of my son overwhelmed me. When the illusion of being loved was no longer an option. When the person who loved me the best, the most, the longest, the purest, left this world.

Honestly, she would hear me cry, and hop up on the bed, and lay on the pillow next to me, resting herself on my arm, or hand, purring loudly. She was my constant companion, where I was, she was. When she heard my mediation music go on in the morning, she would jump up on the couch, walk around me, rub her head against my cheek, and lay down beside me purring, as I drifted into the space between the words. She always greeted me by the door when I came home, having been alerted that I was home by the garage door opening. It will take me some time not to be looking for her to race up the stairs ahead of me, and then sit in the bathroom, waiting for me to turn on the water in the sink for her drink.

Watching her slide into the void, sharing that experience with her, felt like an honor. She was here, she slowly drifted away. She seemed afraid in moments, she was calmed by my voice and my hand petting her head gently. My son too, throughout her last night, came up to check on her often. He brought her food and water bowls in the room where I had made her a bed, he took food out of the bowl and put it by her head, trying to will her to eat a little.

Her loss, brought up the other losses, of the last few months. I work my way through all those emotions, again, and wonder when they will just be memories, and not arouse pain, or longing, or wistfulness. When I will just miss those people, without attachment to their loss. When will all the working through will be done.

I have found that missing someone is easier than losing them. Most of the time, I can miss those who are gone from my life, and it is just an undercurrent of my life. Part of who I am, what makes me the unique person I am. But another loss, makes a new crack, and before the light fills it, the emotions all pour out of the crack, into my heart. When they are done, finished, the light will fill the crack, I will have a greater glow than before.

The people we have loved will always live on in our hearts, they will always have a place there. The energy connections remain, a comforting hum in the cacophonous din of the world.

Love and light….

My Greatest Gift

I booked tickets to go to Florida for a few days.  Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Out of the deep freeze to sunny Florida for a few days of warmth. And while it is….it isn’t a pleasure trip.

My mom had a stroke last fall, massive, at the age of 93.  And she lived through it, but cannot talk, read or write, which is hard enough.  She needs full time care, which my older sister is lovingly giving her.  But we all know Mom is ready to go.  She eats little, sleeps a lot.  She is still her pleasant happy self, as happy as she can be in the state she is in.  I am happy that she is surrounded by people who love her.

Yesterday my sis texted me that she thought I should plan to head down there in a couple of weeks, so I can say goodbye, and see her again before she goes on that mysterious journey.  I am going, of course.

I have known for some time that anytime I see her could be the last.  I don’t feel like anything has been left unsaid with her, but of course, to get one more hug from her, to hear her say “I love you” one more time will be wonderful.  (She can say “I love you” because she doesn’t have to think about it.)  She is a wonderful mother, as loving and kind as you can imagine.

She is also a remarkable woman.  Her own mother died when she was 4, in 1925.  While her father traveled from town to town looking for work, she lived with a variety of aunts and uncles.  She always said she missed her mother, but she never felt alone because she was part of such a large extended family.  They were kind to her and her sister.

My mother went on to work her way through college, got a degree in economics, and met and married my father, to whom she was married for 45 years, until he died when he was 68.

While she and my father gave me and my sisters many gifts…of the intangible kind….the greatest gift they gave us was the gift of unconditional love.  Both of them loved us without condition.  Neither my sisters or I ever went to bed wonderingst if our parents loved us.  Love ruled our house.  We took it for granted, which is how it should be.  No child should ever question whether his parents love him.  Every child should be loved by their family just because they exist.

This is how a child learns that they have intrinsic value, just because they are.  It is their rock to stand on, it empowers them for life.  It allows them to set boundaries on how they are treated.  If someone treats them badly, they don’t believe they deserve it.  They know it’s wrong.  They also learn that every life has value.

I have known, intimately, a couple of people who grew up without this.  Their road is so much harder.  They can find it, they can eventually come to the conclusion that they DO have value, but the journey there is harder, longer, generally more fraught with pitfalls and potholes.

As I go on this journey to Florida, I will try somehow to let my mother know that I know.  That I also love her unconditionally because she exists.  And that I am so, ever so grateful, that she was my mother in this lifetime.  Of all the blessings I have been given, and they are many, this is one of my greatest.

Go in peace Mom, whenever you are ready.  I know you will never be far from me.  We’ll meet up again, in that place where there is no time and space.

I love you.