There are values in pain that are difficult
to see without the presence of a guest.
Don’t complain about autumn.
Walk with grief like a good friend.
Listen to what he says.
Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave
give the opening we most want.
A little over two years ago I noticed my Mom’s mind wasn’t functioning properly and when we had an appointment at the her Dr’s I ask about it. I wasn’t really used to being around mom that much at the time. She had a man friend and they would travel back and forth from Vermont to Myrtle Beach, stopping here on occasion for Holidays and Dr appointments. At that time I ask to see the Dr as well, to check her responses to normal questions. In his office she seemed to have answered correctly, even with being a bit distracted. Mom was not a very good listener, usually ready with a question about something else, maybe it was a way to deflect until she remembered.
Sometime later at her Heart Dr’s appointment, the Dr even came out to me to explain what she was to do for her self-care. He was concerned because she would not focus, and didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her, mentioning he would talk with her regular Dr. when I mentioned that we had discussed her memory issues and he was not concerned at this time.
At that point she went off with Lee, her man friend, I am sure which direction at the time. Her greatest joy was being with Lee and his Shih tzu Billy. She had a whole other family and friends there that she no longer had at home in NJ. Sometime later 3 months maybe she came home basicly for good. Lee was concerned for her and he was having his own health problems.
Taking this walk with her was not my planned version of end life process, yet I was giving the task of being her caregiver, unprepared in every conceivable way. I began walking the autumn path of grief, anger and frustration with her it was not a happy time.
It is difficult for us to realize that this process of going inside and writing page can open an inner door through which our creator helps and guides us. Our willingness swings this inner door open. The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear “our creator”. They lead us into many other changes that also come from the “Universe” and lead us to it “Presence”. This the hand of the “Higher Power” moving through your hand as you write. It is very powerful. “the Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron, Pg.85 *
For the past week or so I have been reciting the Basic Principles as well as the Rules of the Road as prayers or meditations! When I begin my body relaxes, my voice even shifts, my heart/soul fills up, almost to weeping. The joy that those words, those small sentences expresses to my heart is really beyond what language can convey!
Than I was directed to the opening quote. Upon reading it I knew it was time to write, write again. These pages have had their fits and starts. Hey the blog is titled the “reluctant bloger” after all. Recently it or I have lived up to its name.
I could have posted simple blogs with just poems/quotes and photographs. I could have filled these pages with daily accounts of the family’s experience of our Mother’s process of dying. The presence didn’t want me to go there. I used Facebook for support, that support was truly amazing! I am grateful for each person’s comments, the sending of healing, and course love. Love kept me sane, the love of complete strangers, well at least non-physical people, stepped up where friends and family would not or could not. In the case of crisis I go into social mode, hospitality mode. I suppose I was still in caregiver status in many ways. Yet finally freedom for the 24 hour caregiver position I had held for the past two years.
Mom’s going into rehab was her journey “homeward” once there she must have decided it was time. Within 2 months or less, the last week everything shut down. She was constantly cared for my nurses, hospice, family was around 24 hours a day. The waiting seemed to be endless and longer than the 2 years we had spend together, yet it was her time, her journey that we all had to respect and guide her to and through. That Monday Morning, which it is Monday now, I had just walked into the nursing home, as I walk up the hallway to her room, I saw the nurses coming from that direction, I knew before they told me. There was a sense of relief. My sister and my niece were there at bedside and had been for the final breath. I am sure a final sigh of relief from mom that she would finally get to the new adventure. Mom loved to travel, her travel took her all over the country, and even to Europe several times. Her new journey beyond this plane.
I got to the end of the last paragraph, I knew I was done. There is a sense of relief, and sense of new freedom. Of course the story goes on…
I am Blessed, and I am Love, Jeff
Mediative Question: What has your latest journey taken you through?
*( I used other expressions for God which Julie Cameron had not used in the opening quote.)
“If we are to make progress, if we are to grow, if we are to live our dreams, then we must begin to expect that mistakes and problems will arise – and not meet them with the arrogant belief that they shouldn’t be there, but instead bring awareness and patience to the situation and know that problems are there to teach us and they are an inevitable step towards mastery.” Mastin Kipp: Daily Love Blog:http://thedailylove.com/
Each morning for weeks, no months, I have desired to write, to blog, always getting distracted by one thing or another. Which is always just me getting in my own way. There is always something to distract us from our journey, always another shinning object, another mistake, another detour, yet all paths on the same journey to our destination. The road less traveled is not as easy to walk, ride, but I believe a much more rewarding one. A journey made from our own choices, our own visions of who we are, where we wish to go.
Since last fall I have become my mother’s caregiver, finding out her dementa/Alzheimer’s is worst than we thought but not as bad as it may become. Yet a new chapter in both our lives, lives interrupted by illness, aging, unclear paths untraveled by either of us.
Yes depression became my companion, I felt betrayed in some ways by my sister and brother in law who bought a house and moved out of the family home after 55 years! It was just Mom, the dogs and I! I knew some of the steps to take to get the help, Doctor appointments, contacting the county/senior service, I knew but I didn’t do much about it. I stood stunned in my path, going numbly from day to day. Was there, is there an arrogant belief I should not be there? Not arrogant, just a shocked misunderstanding of where I was in my life. Did I ask myself is this what I called forth? If I called being a caregiver to my Mother it was not a conscious calling. Is this part of growing up, being responsible? If it is part of growing up and being responsible is sucks!
An older male friend commented this way about my being in this state of presence about my Mom just yesterday: “Please know that in the process of your frenzy and fury over dealing with your mother that you are doing the work that honors both of you. (This is a better way to think about it then prompting her to talk about fourteen hours of labor!!!” Yes, I am trying to move into the higher vibration of all of this. and slowing this is coming to be, yet part of me is just numb or angry, feeling love in this process is a difficult to reach. As the quote says above; “but instead bring awareness and patience to the situation and know that problems are there to teach us and they are an inevitable step towards mastery.” I am far from mastery in this matter, I seek advise and guidance, sanity through photography…
Yes, depression will still continue to shadow me, yes mistakes will jump up in my path, yet the journey continues, everyday the challenge to create, every moment that challenge to Be Present, to who I am and who I saw up as is unfolding.
Question of the day: Are Mistakes markers for your awareness?
Your essence determines who you are, and it uses the personality’s mind, feeling nature and physical body through which to express itself. To answer the question ‘Who are you?’ is the most difficult challenge because your essence, or soul, is infinite. Therefore every answer you give enables you to reveal some insight into who you are. Each day ask yourself this question and reveal an answer. What is your answer today? Soul Signs
This the quote that spoke to me this morning while I search for who I am and why I am having difficultly finding space and time to write my pages/blog. For my old personality or old habits seem to have reinvaded my body, asserting its behavior on my everyday self. Who are you? Is a powerful moving question, one that I have journeyed within for, as well as journeyed without for as well. Essence being infinite, the search is never-ending, always discovery, uncovering, hidden aspects of my self, my soul, of who I am and who I am not.
Laurie ask during our Mid-week check in about what happens to me when my Mother is here :
When your mother is in your same geographic location, you see less confident, and not as sure-footed. It’s as if you question the value of your artistic creation. It’s as if you question your personal quality and contribution. This maybe trueand I have struggled and worked on this for sometime now.
I wonder why you change when she’s around. It’s almost as if you discount your value (put yourself in the “discount bin”) when she’s there. And then once she’s gone, you bounce back and you hold your head high again. For some reason I seem to get in her head, I hear all the words she said to me as a child and teenager. Her way was to express, that she saw more in me and wished I lived up to that. Yet I did not know what that is? So living up to, became, not really showing up, because I did not know what living up to was. I have done much work on this area, yet it still grabs me, still causes old habits to express themselves and new now moments to wait until the storm is over to check if it is safe.
Mom’s behavior is not a conscious thing, she believes she is offering encouragement and in a way she is. It is my reaction to her presence that seems to pull me away from myself. The myself that is soul/essences ever infinite.
So that being said Mom left two days ago. and I have been unveiling myself in the past few hours to get out from under the spell. I began to straighten out my room, throw things away, freshen the air so to speak, to make room for the change. I did email the coffee shop in Westmont who has monthly featured artist work displayed on their walls. I have even before mom left, been out everyday taking photographs. Hunting and gathering for Fungi and Mushrooms that seem to pop up out of nowhere once we have some wet, humid weather. So those discoveries have been fun to find and photograph. Offers a bit of a challenge, and new excitement! I have the Salem County Peace Festival 4 H fair coming up in few weeks and we can display and sell art there. This morning I got a message from http://www.Redbubble.com that I sold a shot in the form of card, Yellow Heels !!! To an unknown buyer!
I have been out in the yard, cutting grass and tending the garden a little bit at a time. We have Eggplants and green tomatoes, a few red plum tomatoes, peppers plants are not doing well, and struggling to grow. I am not sure we will get any thing from them. Since I don’t know a whole lot about what I am doing I just spend some time in the space to weed, to smell the scent of the plants and herb. There has been a Lemon Balm plant that I pass in the wood everyday that I am going to bring a piece back to plant. I think I should really, concentrate on a herb garden, I feel more drawn to that experience. The experience of fragrance and uses of herbs have fascinated me for sometime as well as Oil essences for energy and healing.
I was interrupted by a photo shoot of eggplants and walk with the dogs so I think I am done with these pages for now, oh yeah and a phone call from Mom!