|Make Your Way Through Life
Life can challenge us at times or for long periods of time. Growth or change or tranquility
rarely happens unfortunately without perception changing realizations that the things we took comfort in are no longer there
or suddenly we are unemployed and desperately trying to pay the rent. How do we stay centered? How can we
hold onto faith and trust? This section reflects my personal conclusions for I have found, first and foremost,
that life itself can get in the way of living life.
There two ways we can meet the mystery throes of life. We can succumb and surrender
our spirit and self and walk among the lost or we can accept that we can, even if we struggle, accept the tapestries that
is life, find our own path and live in peace. Cate
Creator, for another day of possibilities!
Surviving Mom (published on SelfGrowth.com June 2004)
Here I was again. From the time I was nine each time my mom went to the hospital I would wonder "Is this it?". "Will she survive?".
My mother is now ninety-two and has been the victim of fifteen strokes, seventeen heart attacks and Parkinsons. She also suffers
severe and sudden changes in mental status from time to time. Hers had been a lifetime of suffering to make one wonder "Why"?
Isolated by the loss of speech which left her uttering only a garbled jumble of words only I learned to understand, she was
alone in her mental torment of youthful disablity. My father could not understand her nor could neighbors, friends or even
other family members. Although called by many in our neighborhood "the mute", she was well liked and respected by all she
met. When my father passed away, I had her come live with me and my daughter only to be reminded of her stubborn persistence!
She would infuriate me when I had no idea where she was at eleven o'clock at night and only after calling every police station
and hospital in Brooklyn (NY)would she stroll into the door saying she had been to the movies! She never left a note to say
where she was planning to go or called when she was not in by 5pm when she decided to galavant. She could not, in her love
of independence, accept that I was afraid. Afraid that a woman who could not speak, much less scream, could be attacked or
murdered. Afraid that she would collapse and emergency room staff would just think she was demented and medicate her unnecessarily.
You see, I have always been her voice. Yet, I never voiced my fears to anyone, not even to myself.
year has been very hard on her healthwise. Fortunately, she now resides in a very good nursing care facility where she has
been for the last ten years due to the sudden need for twenty-four hour nursing monitoring.
She has made her trips to the
emergency room in those years and has stayed in the hospital on more than one occasion but still-this year I asked myself
more times than I wanted to,"Is this it?" "Will she survive?".
As a pagan spiritualist the issue of life-death-life
is a major belief. It is what we and, especially, I believe in. But I am a pragmatist. I am more than aware that life is not
just moseying around waiting for the next life. As a social worker for developmentally disabled people for almost twenty years
I had seen real life up close. For me, it was personal because I saw disability happen when I was nine years old.
So, recently I was there again, in the same situation, seeing my mother on a gurney in an emergency room wondering if this
was it. I wondered how much much she, a ninety-two year old woman now totally helpless and dependent on total care could take.
She seemed so small, like a broken doll but unlike a broken doll she has her mental faculties they are simply trapped in a
body no one but me can understand. No one but me can hear her when she speaks and since she has no voice, I continue to be
She was admitted and this time, due to high fevers, there were days she not know me or afterwards recall
that I had been there everyday for hours to be her voice. Each day that she did not know me I worried if she had had another
stroke, would she survive and if she did, would she ever remember me again?
In those ten days I re-evaluated
a lot of things. Firstly, as a spiritualist,I mused angels indeed must have walked with her all those years but I also realized
that there was and had been little in her life to enjoy. Would I have been able to in the same sitation? I have heard nursing
homes referred to as "God's Waiting Room" but never had it struck a chord as much as this. It had not dawned on me that perhaps
her will to live was concreted in love- her love for me- because despite our disagreements (and there were many) we were together
for as long as I could remember.
Knowing that this material life is not eternal I suddenly realized that
the question was not so much would she survive but, how could I? When so much of your life has been wrapped around someone,
especially your mother, how do you survive when the need to be there is gone? I then realized my worries were as much about
me as about her. My belief system is as much about action as reflection so the first thing I did was pray. I prayed for the
outcome that would be for her greater good whether I would understand it not, whether I wanted it or not. I prayed with trust
that creator would deem what the best was and I especially prayed that I would accept it.
praying for surviving without mom, I had great cause to think on what I had learned from her. I had learned to laugh no matter
what, that the mind is stronger than the body, to live life with faith and never quit.
So many years, such
great lessons and what a dunce I was to have never dwelled on these as much as I should have. My mother is still with me,
thank Hecate and Creator. I will be priviledged to be there for her and this time when I am her voice, I will be witness to
my lessons. Cate