Monday, March 02, 2009

The Secret to Begin Again

"The secret to begin our understanding of everything is for us to open our thinking mind to understand energy and how we relate to all energy." (14)

"Love is in the mind of the beholder." from Kathy Oddenino's class, The Energy of the Thinking Mind (Feb. 15)

My Dad died early in the morning on Sunday, February 1st. There is so much to say about him, and from so many perceptions even as I have had, from the time I was a child throughout the years of growing into the person I am at this moment. Dad was simple in his love of life, his love of people, his way of showing and living love. He did not want to make things complicated, and preferred that others not do so either. He aimed to simplify. This is one of many characteristics of his personality that I appreciated. My cousins and siblings and their family members that could had traveled to Memphis for the weekend to celebrate my mother and her twin sister’s 80th birthday. Dad had gone from the hospital to a nursing/rehab facility, where he lived since a few days before Christmas. He was determined to be home for a few hours on this birthday, for the "birthday party. " We picked him up that Saturday, and, though he wasn’t feeling well that morning, he focused the energy he had, and came home. He was glad to be there, and ready to leave when he did – in every aspect of the word.

The memorial service for him was a wonderful tribute – both because of all of those who made the effort to attend, from near and far, and all of the acknowledgements given, the words spoken, the flowers in their array of beauty, the music, the food, the presence of all.

Once more, Dad has given me a priceless gift, helping me to understand and appreciate the gift of life itself and its many levels of change. Dad knew my constant quest to "understand everything," and he both supported and questioned me always, as I lived this quest, even when our perceptions were different. His was a mind always questioning, and always coming up with faith and hope, and the simplicity of love in action. These observations and feelings were repeated by many at the service in celebration of his life, and in many of the cards my mother has received.

For Dad, life was only worth living when love could be actively lived and expressed. As he once wrote in reference to the more than 200 funerals he gave when asked, life is about quality not time.

"As a normal sequence of events, truth will shine like a beacon of light as the scenario develops, because the truth will find its own form of revealment." (Kathy Oddenino, 11)

As we waited in the nursing home for the funeral home to come and "remove the body," I looked at and felt his face, and I knew, again, the reality that the spirit energy is what animates us, gives life to our matter. He was smiling a little, a familiar smile, and his matter, his lifeless body was "left behind." Him and not him. In this way I understand better how we leave imprints of energy behind as we grow and change, and that these ripples of energy that we create as we live and die affect all. With my brothers and sister, and other friends and the attendants there, I felt the energy change as absolutely and beautifully real. A tear as in fabric, and my tears spontaneous and full, and in acknowledgement of what I love and will miss forever in him as "here" – and as the perfection of freedom and the constancy of change, the power of love.

I love you a bushel and a peck, too, Dad -
(For the last few years Dad used to say this to us all the time, and for the longest time I didn't know where the line came from. I remembered again recently that it was a lyric written by Frank Loesser for Guys and Dolls (1950).

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