Come Winter

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Dead to the World

Sleeping Woman (1935) A beautiful piece of art by Tamara de  Lempicka (see link below)

Sleeping Woman (1935) A beautiful piece of art by Tamara de Lempicka (see link below)

Eyes open.
A thought bubbles to the surface:
“I’m awake.”
Awareness skips
across my consciousness
forcing me to stir.
I resist.

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She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pajamas

Mom hair Sandy Jan 2014A shaft of light settles just so on her white hair. Her eyes are unusually clear and bright: the right one reflects the sun as it shines through the window; the left is hidden in shadow.

“You look like an angel Mom,” I say, caught in the beauty of now.

Sandy wraps a stray wisp around the curling iron, rolls it close (but not too close) to Mom’s scalp, and waits for it to set.

“I will be one soon.” Mom replies.

My eyes meet Sandy’s.

It’s one of those moments of profound knowing that caregivers, hospice workers and those whom they serve share unexpectedly – one of those times in which there is no denying the depth of our connection with the divine.

Mom knows. And she’s letting us know she knows. While her brain and body struggle in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, her heart, soul and spirit are ready to be set free.

She rarely strings words together to form a sentence anymore other than when she sings (see below), or when there’s a break in the clouds as there has been with her reply. Mostly her speech is disjointed and random, a pick-up-sticks game of subjects, verbs and objects with no real meaning, except when the occasional tear in the increasingly thin veil between here and there allows something astonishing to slip through.

I’m not a religious person, not at all. But I recognize divinity when it touches down.

As Sandy curls Mom’s hair on a Friday afternoon in January, 2014, I imagine an invisible-to-us angel singing in her ear:

“We’ll all come out to meet you when you come. We’ll all come out to meet you when you come. With a hug and kiss we’ll greet you, yes, we’ll all come out to meet you when you come…”

My mother knows she is in the final stages of her journey. Maybe in some ways she’s lucky. Some of us are taken suddenly, snatched without warning from this world we think belongs to us but clearly doesn’t.

Death by ambush? Or a long drawn out siege? Either way, living fully is our duty, discovering joy is our privilege and life breaks our hearts  whichever path we choose. Life is meant to be lived after all, joys and sorrows notwithstanding.

Mom still lives with gusto like this, this, this, and this. Maybe that’s why she’s not quite ready to go around the mountain. But she’s getting closer to being ready. When the time is right a whole host of angels will be there to “greet her when she comes.”

I’ll bet she’ll be wearing pink pajamas.

Heavens!

Special thanks to earthbound angels Sandy Card and Eric Manolson.

Related links:

Loving Words at Sunset

I See You and Me. And Love.

85 And Feistier Than Ever

An endless prayer

Oh Mom! (A mother/daughter moment remembered)

15 Empowering Things to Tell Your Kids (and Yourself)

10 Things Our Daughters Could Learn From Whitney Houston

6 Powerful Ways to Make Your Life More Beautiful

Life Breaks My Heart

Loving Words at Sunset

Patti and Gaby

My Mom Patti (left), and her friend Gaby (right)

My Mom, Patti, soon to be 85 and in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, can’t really carry on a “sensible” conversation anymore.

Mom’s friend Gaby is 97. While Mom has lost most of her marbles, Gaby still has all but a few of hers.

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15 Empowering Things to Tell Your Kids (and Yourself)

AWR say I love u a lotAbout a year ago, I was cracking up (not in a good way). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. Often. And intensely.

I had been caring for my then 83-year-old mother with insufficient support for about eight months, and I was about to lose the plot, cash in my chips, throw in the towel, give up the ghost.

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O Canada In Birthday Poetry

O Canada!

A bright red

cardinal sings

Happy Birthday

In morning mist.

 

Our home and native land

A multicultural mosaic.

Offers refuge.

Kindles hope.

Within and without.

 

True patriot love in all thy sons

(and daughters)

Command

We do love you

O Canada.

 

With glowing hearts

We reach out.

Beyond borders.

North, south, east, west,

In worldwide community.

 

We see thee rise

And sometimes fall,

A country challenged.

Nations disparate

In changing seasons.

 

The true north

Cold as ice

And twice as nice,

in summer than

in winter.

 

Strong and free

As we wish.

To be

together

in prosperity.

 

From far and wide

We are unbound

by shining seas

or 50 states

in a melting pot.

 

O Canada

A bright red

maple leaf waves

Happy Birthday

in blue skies.

 

We stand on guard

and lower it sometimes,

lest fear occupy

Too great a space

In our time.

 

For thee

For peace.

For this earth.

For humanity.

In solidarity.

 

god keep our land

Those within it.

And without it.

Safe, not sorry,

in security.

 

Glorious and free

From racism

sexism, consumerism,

and other isms that might

in prison us.

 

O Canada!

Be all we can be.

Now.

Today, and

in perpetuity.

We're proudly celebrating Canada's 141st birth...