Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Memory Of My Mom ...

Josephine Zabski
March 6, 1923 - May 21, 2007

My mom, known by the family as Grammy Jo, passed on this past Monday at about 8:45 AM.
She will be greatly missed.

This quote for May 21st, her death date, from a book called, Offerings, Bhuddist Wisdom For Every Day, pretty much sums up what I've learned through this very magical journey with her.

"You cannot live sheltered forever without ever being exposed, and at the same time be a spiritual adventurer. Be audacios. Be crazy in your own way, with madness in the eyes of man that is wisdom in the eyes of God. Take risks, search and search again, search everywhere, in every way, do not let a single opportunity or chance that life offers pass you by, and do not be petty and mean, trying to drive a hard bargain.

Arnaud Desjardins

Thank you to so many friends and family who have lent their support through these last months. I could not have done it without you. May you all live in peace, may you all be healthy, and may your lives be filled with the unending love that you have so generously sent our way.
Blessings to you all!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rainy Day ...

" ... we are not on this earth to accumulate victories, things, and experiences, but to be wittled and sandpapered until what's left is who we truly are."
Arianna Huffington, On Becoming Fearless

It's been raining all night and should continue most of today. It's a slow, steady rain. The kind that seeps into the earth, allowing flowers and trees to drink their fill. The kind that rootlets search for in the summer, when no rain is in sight and the grass browns in searing sun. The kind that saturates, permeates, penetrates ... like grief.

I have a friend who recently lost her sister to breast cancer. Another friend's mother has been in an assisted living facility for the past two years. She will be moved to the alzheimers unit in that facility within a day or so. My friend says she doesn't know who is having the worst time of it, she or her mother.

Everything is always in flux. Within our bodies cells die and renew themselves on a daily basis. Change is pervasive. As the earth spins, the seasons change, the years turn and we find ourselves marveling at where we've been and what will happen next. We wish the bad, sad moments away, reasoning that once we get through this rough patch the going will be smooth, only to find another challenge. Someone else I know calls those times, "more damned learning experiences!"

"If you don't have the wound of a broken heart, how can you know you're alive? If you have no broken heart, how do know who you are? Have been? Ever have been?"
Edward Albee, The Play About The Baby

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Truth Is ....

Tree Peony #2, 2007

The truth is I'm happy ... I'm happy that it's spring. I'm happy for all that I have ... people sending loving kindness ... the unexpected rain shower that helps my garden grow ... fresh local strawberries that fill the kitchen with wonderful perfume when I bring them home. I'm happy I'm me and not someone else who has more or less, or everything I've always wanted. I'm finding I need just what I have ... nothing more ... nothing less. All the things I've always wanted and don't have are completely irrelevant.

Yes, there is sadness and fear as well, but the happy part of my life is what fills me up and keeps me going. Working in the garden as I weed or transplant flowers to a new bed, I listen to the calls of cardinals and bluebirds as they go about their work of building new nests or feeding their young. Nearby in a dense grove of oaks, a wood thrush sings his magnificent, liquid song, proclaiming his presence. I, too, am here, doing what I can to make the best of what is.

My mother is dying, but sometime in the coming days, her third great grandchild will make her way into the world, a smiling bundle of joy we'll christen with hope and best wishes for a glorious life. We'll sing out her name and make her presence known ... a new life to rekindle an older flame as it fades.

This is the time of year that makes the great circle of life so obvious. As the tulips die back, Iris and peonies take their place. Soon there will be roses ... plump pink beauties I'll pick for the table ... their fragrance will fill the room. After a while they'll drop their petals on the linen cloth and once again I'll be reminded of change and how life has a way of moving on while I'm busy doing other things.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Susan's Metta Blast ....

Tree Peony blooming in my garden, May, 2007

My friend, Susan, at Visual Voice, is doing a wonderful thing! She is sending a Metta Blast out on her blog to hold all those in need in glorious healing light. You could say it's a prayer circle, in this case a Buddhist one. Metta is loving kindness and there is a special meditation just for sending that loving kindness to everyone you know, your special loved ones and even those you don't seem to have an easy time with. Used in the latter way, I believe it is the first step in finding forgiveness for those who have treated us poorly.

The meditation or prayer, is very simple. Start with yourself. Say to yourself:

May I be happy,
may I be safe,
may I be healthy,
may I live with ease.

Repeat this several times, relaxing more and more with each repetition. Then invoke the name of someone you would like to send loving kindness to and repeat it as many times as you wish. Some say that once is enough, especially if you have a long list of people you wish to honor. Others feel that repeating a given name many times is best. I really don't think there are any hard and fast rule. You may word your phrases differently if you choose.

Susan was kind enough to mention sending Metta to my mother who is in the final stages of a very aggresive lung cancer. We are guessing she has one to two months left. Hospice is involved with her care and they are doing a wonderful job keeping her comfortable. She has difficulty breathing at times, is constantly tired, and if unmedicated feels great pain.

I am deeply grateful to Susan for including us in her effort to bring love to everyone in the whole world. To her I say:

May you be ecstatically happy,
may you always be safe,
may you be healthy in body and soul,
may you live peacefully and with ease.

Thank you so much Susan!