Monday, November 17, 2008

Shifting the Mind into Love, Take 333 - Family Jewels

We must think deeply enough to see the beauty of our own design.

Listening to Dad’s questions, his comments, such as What a life we are living – helps me to tune into his level of energy reality and mine, as I can. Every movement is so careful, takes such focus and effort, and so often it is easier to be told what to do or have someone else do. His speech therapist, Amy, an adorable young woman, said her motto with him is – When in doubt, Swallow! He kissed her hand as she was leaving, thanking her for her help. He followed her instructions diligently, as he could, with a full intensity of focus, as a child might do. I thought many times during the past few days of how parents having and raising children create a cycle of familiarity with the tending of every physical need – food, bathing, sleep comforts, health monitoring, ears and eyes alert to their children’s energy patterns. As I washed the syringes for Dad’s PEG tube in the very hot water, I thought of all the parents I have known, washing their baby’s bottles – filling, refrigerating, cleaning. I thought of how interesting it is, how we create our experiences, our cycles of experience in each life.

As Dad moved slowly down the hall toward the bathroom or bedroom, I thought of all the energy that makes us up, everything working together to make the movement happen, what a miracle phenomenon life is. Also, what sense is made of how, as chemical energy beings, our “healthy hum” vibrates as we support the music we are, and that we know to play. We are not only the song, but also, ultimately, the composers and the instruments.

Friends repeat to me how much our parents are loved, what their kindness and example have meant in so many ways and so many lives.

Dad is puzzled by why he feels and doesn’t feel certain sensations, why the left side of his face (his forehead) appears to him to have more wrinkles than the right. Last night he told me he thought he would not have any more pictures taken. Why? I asked. Well, look at my face, he said, facing me as I leaned toward him. It’s so ugly. He doesn’t say this with a sense of vanity, only a sense of amazement and acknowledgement of changes he sees and doesn’t really understand. Of course, he isn’t ugly to me, as I told him, but he sweetly dismissed this and proceeded with his nap.

Memories of Dad when we were all much younger come to mind as I am here, and I remember Dad’s appreciation of these “sweet memories.” Those were the golden days, he says. I feel the “silver thread,” golden cord that ties Mom and Dad together in their lifetime of interaction and creation. When he said yesterday, you know I haven’t seen her in almost a week, it brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know when it has been that long. I think my telling him and others about Mom walking down the hall and back in the hospital gave him incentive to want to walk. He walked a few “laps” in the house. Also, my cousin Bob talking about how my parents and Aunt and Uncle always encouraged his mother (Sister) to walk, though she declined.

In this, too, along with, first, their own creative lessons, they teach us. We teach each other. The way we think of creating and struggle – the diminishing of struggle and the good humor always predominant, the appreciation constant – “We’ve got some hurdles to climb, kid,” my mother’s doctor observes.

I feel such a gravity of sadness, yet also a strengthening of my own spirit energy – which, I imagine, I remember, happens as we age, grow up, change form, feel the gravity (literally) of our own coming and going. Out the airplane window right now, with the aircraft banking slightly right, the layer of clouds seems to curve in my view, forming a feather shape, or an oar, with water rippling off of both sides. It’s beautiful, and many shades of white and luminescent gray. Now the clouds are thicker and whiter below us, the same way as the ocean changes.

Talking with a few of Mom’s friends, a diverse group, I hear some talk about bridge club, sewing circle, Knitwits, garden club, mostly made of “Republicans,” they say. Mom belongs to none of these. Their network of long-time and newer friends is well-knit and wonderful. They volunteer and come and go in her hospital room, some with crochet, books, anything they or she might want or need. My Aunt, her twin, is faithfulness itself - funny, persistent, always ready, encouraging. She prompts Mom to eat better than anyone.

Now the thick clouds below really do look like deep, fresh wind-blown snow.

A few of Mom’s friends, my Aunt and I were in Mom’s room yesterday talking about love. A mutual friend always says “love you” in her very sweet way and she means every word. Another friend, equally loyal, thinks this is revolting, only because it isn’t her style. I think actions speak louder than words, she said. You’re here, I said, my arm around her shoulder and on her soft peach-colored jacket. That’s love! We all agreed. We all began to say “Love you” as anyone left the room. They were great moments.

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