I woke and could not return to sleep and so I write.
I was just lying here with Morgan and we are talking about how we live without our moms. The subject just kind of came up, in this sad silence engulfed us.
Oddly, every single one of us here at the Sanctuary, has lost our moms. My Mom and Tamara’s Mom were ripped from us and most of our residents were ripped from their Moms.
Morgan seems to have lost her way from her Mom. I haven’t gotten enough to know yet, all of Morgan’s story. I do believe that it will be the primal cries of Morgans family, her Mom if she is able, that will help to call Morgan home.
We live in a society where we have been so desensitized to relationships and to the idea of bonding. We don’t have the nurturing we need to sustain us through our lives. We are inept and unable to nurture others, especially when times get tough.
We live in a world of hooray for me, and fuck you. Sorry you’re struggling, but I’ve got someplace to be. Do we not all have someplace to fucking be? Moreover, isn’t that the fucking point? I have someplace to be and you have someplace to be and how can we help each other get there? That really is the point.
I won’t lie. I pass by people all the time who need help. Every day, multiple times, I pass by people in need without stopping. I’ll tell you what I never do though…I never pass by people in need without loving. I have a habit of saying “I love you”, all day long, to everyone I see, no matter who or what or where…from my heart, to their heart, every single time…”I love YOU”, no matter who YOU are. Walking, driving…riding…through tinted glass and right out in the open…”I love you”.
Here is when my awareness shifted…when my world went completely dark:
It was in the instant that I saw my Moms MRI hit the screen in the ER, right as I hit the fucking ground. With the entire world, literally crashing down on top of me…with Pieces of our lives crashing from every angle, I had to get the fuck out of that room.
As Tamara and Shawn helped me to my feet and I brushed past everyone to dive headfirst into my Moms chest. As my world literally began to shatter, and then, as I untangled myself from my Moms embrace and from her lies of, “Sugar, it will all be ok…everything will be ok…” I made my way out of that room and into the elevator.
I will never forget being in that elevator . I will always remember how everything went silent…and still…and wooey. I remember grabbing the bars in the elevator, to keep myself from falling down. I remember looking around and seeing mouths moving and hearing Charlie Brown sounds…wawhaaawawhaaa….
In those moments, as a gasped for air and clutched my chest. As I struggled, just to stay upright and get down to the street so I could have a cigarette, so I could force myself to take air in…somehow I knew that I would never be the same again.
All memory of sound escapes me and everything went into slow and dramatic motion. I remember turning around and seeing my Brother. I think he caught me, right before I hit the ground again.
I recall thinking in that elevator that everyone here was probably suffering to some degree. Someone was finding out that they were losing their someone. Someone just did lose their husband. Someone lost their baby and they just pulled life support on someone’s teenage son. No one was there that day to redeem their winning lottery ticket…at least not where I was.
My world and everything in my world, was just about to be ripped out of the ground, completely uprooted, tossed around violently and shaken to its fucking core. All of the rich soil, cultivated over a lifetime and all of the root systems, as fucked up as they may have been…all of them viciously ripped apart, and left with their nerves and most vulnerable parts completely exposed and unprotected. All of everything that I grew around and clinged onto, just fucking ripped away and tossed up high up into the air.
I vaguely remember the climb towards the sun, the momentum of that throw and the inertia towards the sky. I vividly remember the immediate and violent fall immediately after the ascension…the fall that throws your stomach into your throat. The decent so rapid and so fierce and so life altering that you see everything and nothing, all at the same time, right before you violently crash face and heart first into the fucking cement.
And I didn’t look up. I didn’t see anyone or anything. Time literally stood still and I stayed in that soundless, timeless, voiceless vortex of fucking nothingness. I didn’t see anything. I felt the rush of cars speeding past and I remember wanting to throw myself out in front of them, just to see if I could feel anything at all anymore.
Shawn helped me back up to our Moms room. I remember everything in pictures and absolutely nothing in words from the time we went back up…just blurred and slow moving pictures with blurred words and spikes in pitches and tone…a vast sea of nothingness…emptiness and awareness that absolutely nothing, was about to become absolutely everything.
It is odd how in those moments, everyone and everything just blurred together. Sounds and the absence of sound…color and the complete absence of color…everything became nothing.
I cannot articulate precisely how it felt to know, before I knew. Before there were medical confirmations, before the actual diagnosis, and before the word “cancer” was uttered, I already knew. I can’t explain how that feels, only that it fucking feels with everything and then as rapidly and as appeared, it fades to black, and feels nothing.
I have seen my own “white light” more than a few times. I have stood next to countless others, as I carried them into their own white light. Only moments, stringed together as minutes and hours and finally into less than 60 days after I hit the floor in the ER, I carried my Mom towards her white light.
I couldn’t articulate it until just now, how it was…carrying my Mom home. I mean, my Mom told me that she thought my Pappa “knew” he was dying and I think that my Mom “knew” that she was dying too. I was always like, well why in the fuck didn’t he tell me? Why didn’t he call me and say goodbye? If he knew, why didn’t he say so? Why didn’t my Mom say so? For fucks sake, why don’t they tell us goodbye?!
I don’t think they “know” like that…I mean, like they don’t know where they can tell us…so it’s not like they are keeping a secret, and yet it sure fucking feels like it…like something was withheld from us, doesn’t it?
Jesus, watch any Lifetime Movie…any Hallmark Christmas movie…find some old episodes of “Highway to Heaven” or “ Touched by an Angel”…(my Mom and my favorites, all of which I can no longer watch without her). Watch the back side of Michael Landon as he walks into the clouds, one last time, and tell me that you don’t wonder what they do and don’t know…Do they know they aren’t coming back? If they do know, why don’t they tell us?
I sat in wait for those angels my whole life, the angels from those shows. I have looked for them everywhere. I sat for hours, over a six month period, literally sitting on the Rim of The Grand Canyon, looking for them there. Where are the angels who carry our loved ones home and why can’t we see them before they are walking away and it’s too late?
I have come to believe that it’s because the teacher will not arrive until the student is ready. When the student is ready, and the master shows up, the rest of the world loses privilege to the journey. The journey, always sacred, becomes undeniably sacred and soul seeking. It is only then that the flesh begins to fall away because the soul, too full of life to fit in the body any longer, must ascend.
The soul, tethered for years in a body that knew not how to set it free, finally realizes that the door really does open from the inside.
With terminal and relentless sickness and self inflicted famine, with drought and unmanageable pain and in a broken body that could no longer speak its needs…I believe my Mother still had what she always prayed for, a mind strong enough to let go.
My Mom lived life on her terms and my Mom died on her own terms. When the body gave out and the quality of life had completely perished from her body…When there were truly no words left, no breaths and no regrets left, Jonathan Smith and Tess and Monica…they all came down and brought my Mom home. I believe that just l like my Mom watched and cried so many, many times watching, her favorite shows and literally watching her Mom and Dad, from behind, as they disappeared into the clouds, never to return, my Mom also perished into the clouds…
How we live and how we die…both are truly such a mystery…
On the day when my Moms journey on this earth became a futile effort…on the day her body finally released her spirit…on the same day that we took our very last walk, here on earth together…my Mom squeezed my hand for the last time she opened her eyes one last time…and without a moments hesitation, she busted out of that badly broken body and I carried her to the angels.