Monday, December 13, 2010

In Honor of My Mother

My mother had another stroke last Friday. The first one, three and a half years ago, mostly affected her balance. Her speech and cognitive functions were unimpaired. She's had nursing care at home since then. Her hearing has phased out so she can hardly hear even with her hearing aids in. On Friday morning when her wonderful day nurse arrived, my mother couldn't speak and her right side was severely affected.

My mother will be 89 years old on January 30, 2011. Perhaps. Two years ago when I was visiting my mother she told me she didn't want to read any books, she'd read many, many books throughout her life. She didn't want to go to the theater, she'd been many, many times to see plays, the opera, and the ballet. She'd seen all the movies she needed to see, traveled all around the world, live a long, full life. I understood that she was telling me she'd done everything she needed to do in this lifetime. So day after day she's watched golf and tennis on TV and slept increasing amounts since that first stroke. Many years ago after she traveled all through the far east, she told me about seeing a rhinoceros in the jungle. "That might be the way to go, being gored by a rhinoceros. It would be fast." "Very dramatic too," I told her, but I knew what she was getting at. When it was time to transition, she wanted to exit quickly. For me it's been hard to see her doing the steady, gradual decline, the opposite of what she'd wanted.

My first significant death happened when I was thirty. A friend who I was very connected with transitioned young and my grief was intense. In my heart I knew I needed to be able to stand beside death as it occurred, so I contacted Hospice and got myself accepted for a social work internship. While working at Hospice, I saw so clearly that we all chose, on some higher level, exactly when we transition. The fact that we each chose the timing of our transition is so readily apparent to anyone working at Hospice. The other thing I learned through observation is that fear is often what holds a person here even when the body has deteriorated past the point there is no reason medically they are still here.

The last time I saw my mother I could feel her fear about dying. During that visit, my father, who transitioned in 1992, came to me late one night and spoke so clearly. He said, "It's not quite time yet, but soon. I'll be there waiting for her when it's her time to cross over." I know when her passing is imminent, I'll feel my father's presence draw near. That's how I'll know.

The morning after my father came to me, I told my mother about his visit and what he said. "Really?" she said, looking relieved. "That would be nice." But she wouldn't speak anymore about it. Which is OK because I know I can communicate with my mother no matter where we are, and often it's easier from a distance than when we're in the same room because I can speak to her whole Self.

When I look at my siblings, four sisters and a brother, I wonder how it will all go after her transition. None of them have acknowledged the spiritual aspect of themselves. It makes accepting someone's passing so much harder when a person thinks that this one life is all there is. Yet it is most often in the grieving process that we open up spiritually. My siblings each have their own path of growth, just as I have mine. My Guides warned me that they will not be pleasant to deal with in sorting out the estate after our mother's passing. Most likely accurate guidance. I try to set aside any impending sense of dread and recognize that I've already chosen not to become involved in any conflicts that arise. I have no conflicts with any of them.

With my mother, I feel at peace now after all the years and much pain along the way. Sorting through and overcoming my childhood was a long road with many issues to work and grow through. It was not easy growing up without any affection. I learned what was important for a mother to give a child by what I didn't get. She also gave me so much I value and feel fortunate to have received. Nothing is ever all good or all bad, and the most valuable learning usually comes out of the worst experiences. In the reading I had with Angela Moore back in October I was given a message from my mother. "She wants you to know she understands now." To me this message spoke volumes.

About five years ago, I was standing in my kitchen and suddenly saw that perhaps my mother chose to come in and be the person she is, just to give me the childhood I had with all it's challenges. What if this was a gift from her so that I could become who I am and gain the sensitivities, perception, and insights I'd need to fulfill my role in this life and this Great Transition? If so, and I believe it is so, I was in on the plan from the beginning. Today, I can say truthfully that everything was perfect. She gave me experiences that allowed me to become who I am. It really feels good to reach the place where I know this without a single doubt. I feel at peace.

I honor my mother and her life. And each day I draw down the white light of love and protection, tucking it carefully around her.