Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who knows where the time goes?

One of the things that my mother's recent passing has done for all of us in the family is to reconnect with the movement of time by way of going through old picture collections and seeing how we looked and how we changed through time. It is good to see that the little girl in the picture here seemed excited, animated, happy. I think I could say in looking backward, that's how I remember my life for the most part. My sister and I are putting together a slide show of images and music to help us remember our mother and our lives together. We have had a lot of laughing and some tears in the remembering. It's funny how you perceive reality now as compared to then. My growing awareness in noticing so many more details about the now moment is astounding compared to the past. Back then, "back in the day," no matter what day that was, I seemed so clueless about so much. In spite of that cluelessness, I do remember some wonderful things about my life that gave me the strength and courage to go forward in the pursuit of my dreams. What I do know by looking back is how important each now really is. When you are young, you think you have all the time in the world. As I age, each moment seems so much more precious. I find myself really slowing down the rush and just savoring more. I find myself having a much freer calendar than I have in the past. I resist the world's attempt to rush me. When I stand in the bank line waiting my turn and the floor person tries to see if she can take my deposit so as to hurry me along to my next destination, thinking I would appreciate that, I decline and say:"I'm in no rush, I have all the time in the world today." I mean it too. What's the hurry really? There is no fast way to now. I find I want to appreciate just how my body feels now and that it is ok the way it is. Those days some 30 years ago when I thought I was so heavy and needed to lose weight... Wow! Was I ever clueless! Anyway, now is the moment I want to enjoy. Wonder what it will really turn out to be?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home at last!

Mom left us quietly in the wee hours of the morning on August 10th. She was probably waiting until we were all tucked in our respective beds fast asleep, so she could at last have her own final rest. Moms are like that. I couldn't resist putting this picture of her up in tribute, as it has always been my favorite, and I'm sure, a form she would like to take if she ever comes visiting us from dream time. This is how I will remember her. I find myself gathering little embers of memories... things I treasure about my mother. I don't think I ever turned out to be the "girly-girl" mom really wanted. She used to love to comb my long hair when I was about 5 or 6 years old until one day I discovered a pair of scissors and decided to see how they worked on my own hair. I must have really took a chunk out right close to the scalp because then for quite a while, I had this little boy bob and my father would jokingly call me sonny, just to see my mother break out in tears. One Christmas time I remember she fixed a plate of Christmas cookies and she and I would lounge on her bed while she read me "Little Women."

Whenever she saw me, she would always ask: "How's that beautiful daughter of mine?" I don't ever remember going through that stage when I was a teenager of looking in the mirror thinking there was something missing. I'd always say approvingly to myself: "Well, you look OK..." There were many other ways that I was gifted by my mother, but I think it was the confidence she instilled in me that I really treasure. No matter what strange idea I might come up with and try out on her, she always said: "Sure, why not!" I know my other siblings will have their stories and memories and even though we had the same childhood, each experienced it from their perspective. I'm glad I have mine.

Towards the end of her life, she had a very rich fantasy life which seemed to include lots of great grandchildren. According to her, my nephew and his wife had about 69 children. Many of them were twins or triplets. She was sure they had to hire a bus to get everyone to church. Her favorite great-grand child, the one she spent the most time with, apparently, was little Mary Rose. Evidently the little one would help her out at dinner time and eat the food mom didn't like because she didn't want "Gam ma" to get in trouble for not eating her vegetables. I personally liked this world she lived in and used to talk often to her about different aspects of it. I thought: Why not? That's why we watch TV and go to the movies, isn't it, to enter into another world?

I'm looking forward to continuing the relationship, now that she is free to come and go, unencumbered by physicality.I have no doubt it will still include a few:" sure why nots" from the other side. So, another soul joins my cheering section. I wonder what we will all be creating together? I'm sure hearts will be involved.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Waiting at Heaven's Gate

Today mom was enrolled in hospice. Though she has been in a rest home for a number of years, she took a serious turn this past week and the Doctors said they don't expect to recover from a bleed into her brain and it would be risky, or at least not really improve things to do any surgery. I and my family are preparing for her crossing. My father, too, has been in decline, and though at the present time he seems to be in a bit of a rally, both he and my mother are probably going to "leave the planet" in the not so distant future. That's the thing, though: no one really knows when. It will probably be just a quiet slipping away for both of them. The last time I was with mom, she was in a coma so I didn't expect a response, but talked and sang to her, knowing she was following my every word and song. I wear a gold band on my finger that marks my religious commitment. This ring was made from a combination of gold from the rings both Mom and Dad gave each other when they married. Over time their rings have been replaced with new ones. Since I made my final vows on their wedding anniversary, the three of us share a special date in time, and a very special ring. It must have stirred something in her when I told her when I was with her this last time, that when ever I twirled the ring on my finger, I was thinking of them both and that it would be a special signal to her when she got to the other side that I was calling her. It gave a whole new meaning to the words: "I'll ring you up." Both my sister and I were with her. When we got ready to leave we said our goodbyes and I love yous, not knowing if it would be for the last time, and, she opened her eyes and said, "And, I love you!", then she took my sister's hand and kissed the back of it. That has always been my confirmation that we are in the presence of an angel!(so many times in my life when I have an odd encounter with someone who seems a bit out of place, and then their parting gesture to me is to kiss the back of my hand, I know it's a heavenly visitor I've just been with.)

We were both blown away, of course. And so we wait on heaven. No one really knows when she or my father will swing out on the great cosmic Smile of Divine love and move into another existence. They celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary on August 7th, tomorrow. We'll just have to wait and see..........