Finding my soul

leaves

About fourteen years ago I was trying to figure out what was missing from my life. I was a full time teacher and it fulfilled me in many ways. I had a lovely home and did not want for much in material ways. My marriage was at that point pretty much over and I had become numb to the relationship. Most of my life I had been called a feminist. The current people that I was allowed to socialize with (gives you a hint about the marriage) called me a feminazi. In my younger years, I never accepted being told I could not do something because I was a woman. I had buried the strong female warrior that resided in me in order to survive in a very male supremacist social circle. Even the wives were all in agreement that women were subservient to men and they chastised me for rebelling and being as independent as I was. I became isolated and victimized. Fortunately, I got divorced. At the time, it was horrible but it was my salvation.

I look back and see that a door had opened.  I pursued alternative avenues for connection. At night on the weekends, I joined a group of divorced people in a chat room. Some of us splintered off and we met every weekend for over a year. I started taking classes at night and pursued learning about a path that resonated with me. All the people, male and female, who I was surrounding myself with were all Witches. The classes were in Wicca. I was learning about the Goddess.

Less than a year after I had moved into my new house, divorced and happy, I became very ill. I had five blood clots and one was very dangerously positioned near my heart. I have written about this before. After what was supposed to be open heart surgery, and they discovered all the clots were gone, I was placed in a room with a very sick woman. Turns out she was a Witch. At one point our hospital room was filled with several visiting Witches.

All of these events and connections were signs of the Goddess. I felt very strong back then and somehow I lost it. I have felt disconnect, frail and unsure for a long time. I needed to work through this and try different avenues of religion and practices to see where I fit. I honor all those who have influenced me and offered guidance.

My studies have brought me full circle and back to where I began.  But this time, it is not about Wicca. It is about being a Witch and what that really means. The media and other religious connotations and images are so absolutely wrong about what a Witch truly is. I did not get all of this even myself when I first was learning fourteen years ago. Finding the Goddess and being a Witch is about finding the soul of a woman. Even men have a feminine side. It is about strength and love. It is not about spells: anyone can cast a spell. It is about the Light within.  It is about connecting with the Earth Mother. It is about doing what is right. It is not about denouncing Jesus or God or bashing anyone or anything else. It is total acceptance, including self-acceptance and loving who we are. It is finding your soul.

If anyone would like to read an excellent book on this subject I highly recommend the following book. Do not be misled by the word Power, it is not what you think.

Power of the Witch. Cabot, Laurie (2013-12-18). Random House Publishing Group.

 

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What awakening means to me

spt morning     What does awakening mean to me? It has taken a lot of thought to come up with an answer and I am not sure that there really is a definitive answer. It has to be something that is so personal that only the soul knows. Yet, there must be a level of established acknowledgement; there has to be a place of achievement. As I face the blank page and reminisce about the thoughts that I sought to answer this, I hear the birds in my garden. I see the golden sunlight streaming as it pokes its head over my garden fence. I hear a chipmunk scolding my dogs for interrupting its breakfast. I see the golden spots mixed within the dark green of the leaves in my trees. The air is sweet, filled with the dusky smell of damp earth and fall blooms. The dew is still cast on the lawn leaving a gossamer film that shimmers and sparkles in the light. My flowers are radiant in the saturation of colors of pink and red. Even the grain on the wooden deck demonstrates the life force there in. I am one with this all. To me, this is part of being awakened.

I walked through life surrounded in a claustrophobic wrapper that I thought was protecting me from being hurt anymore. I had become something I did not like. I was fearful all the time. I did not trust and I did not love much of anything. My anger and pain was a cloak that never came off but was becoming so heavy I could not move. And so I did not.

Without going into too much history, I reached an apex when one night in the light of the full moon. I stood within the parameters of my garden circle that I had created and cried with my arms out to the Goddess, Mother Moon and all the spirits that could hear me to heal me. My words were, “I do not want to be so afraid anymore.”  full moon

The rest of my life will be spent in healing. I am in such an early stage of being truly receptive to learn and understand my intended purpose. Part of that is awakening. I have spent my lifetime learning. But the learning I am doing now engages not only my brain, but my heart and soul. I feel, therefore I am. I see with my heart as well as my eyes. The compassion within has always been there, but not felt. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and so I progress in stages of release. My vulnerability is apparent to the predator that smells the eagerness in me to serve and love. I am learning to protect myself in a whole new manner that allows the innocent me to be wise. This too is part of awakening.

The decisive moment in awakening for me is that I decided to do any and all of this. I knew as I stood in the garden that night there was a better way. There was something within that I still cannot explain well that said, “stop, look, learn and be whole.” I knew enough to ask to be healed, even after years of attempts in finding salvation from external resources. It has to come from within. All the money and success and credentialing was never going to make me whole and I knew it intrinsically. There was a seed planted that needed to be nurtured and grow. I always had a hollow feeling within my solar plexus. It ached constantly as if something was haunting me. I thought it was because I was alone and scared and that was part of it. But now I know it is the true essence of me needing to be cultivated and cherished. I need to find my real place in this world and do what I am meant to do. But I understand that I need to grow into it because no plant flowers without early intervention. It needs nutrients and energy to reach its full potential.

So awakening to me is this process. It is opening the door and asking for help. It is the inner knowledge that something needs to change. It is the acceptance that there is more to life and that not everyone gets that and that is ok too. Awakening to me is like being in a dark void which is ok because there is no harm or danger, but there are also no feelings of any kind. And then one day, you come upon a door that is closed, but through the crack of the door jamb you see a brilliant light. You want to open it, but you think it is locked and you are not allowed. And then one day, something makes you push that door ajar. You peek through and see the most beautiful place you can imagine. And that vision is different for each person. You want to be of that place but fear holds you back. But something with in you tells you to take the next step, whatever that maybe. There are hands outstretched to guide you and support you. All you need to do is be available and aware. You need to be open and receptive and learn. You know mistakes will be made but it is all part of the process. Awakening is not the final result of anything. It is only the beginning. It is the opening portal and each step, each lesson, each breath taking moment, each sorrow and loss, and the resolve that there is a purpose to your life.Flying heron

Sacred Space

morning 2014 We have returned from our second visit this year from The River. I want to share not only my pictures from this trip, but also a lesson I received about Sacred Space. I did not have a clue what Sacred Space meant until I was working with MarDrag in my ongoing lessons with her. She has taught me many, many things. Sacred Space to me is somewhere that I go, mentally, that is safe. It is the most safe space in the world. No harm, no danger, and no one else can be there unless I allow it. It is where I go to do a lot of the work I am doing on myself and where I go to pray and also send gratitude. It is mental and so it goes with me where ever I go.

long shot   However, there are places that can be sacred space that are physical and nature offers many opportunities for us to find them. The River is my sacred space where I go to recharge, find my spirit and soul, and release and heal. Often I draw upon this place in my head when I am stressed, and I have surrounded myself with photos in my office to focus on when I need to. The River is so special to me and I am so blessed that I have this to go to. I have been coming here to this spot now for many years.

edgewood from boat         Edgewood and cover from boat   The Edgewood Resort is located in Alexandria Bay. Many think of that town as a tourist trap. It is. The Resort itself sits on the opposite side of the Bay and is on its own land with a private road. It sits right on the river. The room we always get is the last room on the most distant part of the property overlooking a private cove. Most of the time we have this to ourselves as there is a pool on the property and many people do not come down this far. There is a rock ledge surrounding most of the cove. The water is gorgeous, but not really good for swimming as there is a lot of weeds. I will walk on the rocks and wade in. Most often, I walk to the back of the cove to where an old piece of dock remains. That is where I sit, with my legs in the water for hours. med dock  This spot to me is my sacred space.  The River offers many beautiful spots where you disconnect with all the garbage in our lives and reconnect with what is important. It is very difficult for me to leave at the end of our stay and so with the mental images and internal feelings I create, I can bring this sacred space to me anytime I need to.

Sometimes, I figure out some pretty important things about life while I am there. For example, life is not easy and there is always something coming at you. It used to create terrible fear within me, but I have learn to become much more resilient and go with the flow. From the geese, I have learned that no matter how you fly,            crooked flying            It is the landing that counts.

geeze td                     geeze t 1        geeze t 2rain   Rain will fall and there will be tough times.

But we can fly through it if we remember who we really are.                                   opsrey                                  c and friends       There are people to support us.

The sun does come out again. Namaste. sun set

 

 

 

All photos jdemeis@2014

August Garden

garden August 2014

Somehow so quickly, the summer has past. It was a cool and wet summer but the flowers loved it. I spent as much time as I could, which is never enough, sitting out and enjoying the beauty. This is my canvas and I paint  in spring with my flowers. Mother Earth fills in and takes over as the summer progresses. It is the first place I retreat to when I come home and I end my day out there. This is my garden at night.

At dusk

At dusk

The long view from my chair

The corner of the deck

The corner of the deck

View from my chair

View from my chair

View of my chair

View of my chair

During the day I have many visitors. I also have my favorite tree named Elgin in honor of Rising Hawk. Elgin gives me great advice.

Mrs. Bunny                       Elgin in the light

This weekend we leave for Sacred Ground. We are off to The River for a long week.

My meditation spot at the River

My meditation spot at the River

 

The suitcases are packed. However, I had to face this look all day. They know we are going. But they have their Auntie Carolyn to cuddle and smooch them up all day and every night and Uncle John, their favorite is coming over too. So they will be fine. However, I still had this face.

ms attitude

Namaste.

 

Peaceful, easy feeling

wild chives

Summertime and the living is easy. I have been living easy all summer. My blog has been sort of dormant because, and this is a good thing, I am at a place I am calling “in neutral.” I am not stalled out nor am I running my engines at full blast, just I am not in gear. I can be at any moment, but I do not feel the need. I think it is important to take breaks and pause on any effort in hopes to renew interest and vitality to the journey. I am still working on things; just do not feel the need to go into it.

I have been enjoying the wonderful weather and my garden has been fabulous. Everything seems so strange because of the summer shift in so many areas. For example, driving to work in the winter with dry roads can take up to a half hour to forty minutes. In the summer, I am there in fifteen to twenty minutes tops. No significance except that it impacts me by not making me crazy before I am even to work. I have little patience for stupid drivers, people who are texting while driving, or apparent feel they are the only ones on the road. And of course, there are only a handful of school buses and that helps immensely. There is one bus driver who has to pick up kids on every driveway and street intersections on this one road. However, if he sees he has a car behind him, he pulls over. I want to thank him for that.

relaxing with the kids

I wish there was a way to take the easy style of people in the summer and blend it into the frantic craziness that starts to rev up around the end of August. I know “back to school” influences the drama which flows into the air even if you do not have children. The Christmas crap starts with the introduction of Halloween, which around here gets as much decoration attention as Christmas. And then after we all are exposed to the insanity of the holiday BS (sorry for those of you who like it but I am completely turned off by it now) we slam into the winter doldrums. This is an extensive period of time where bitching and complaining about the weather and greyness is an art form. Then after about four months of that, we come to my favorite part of the year where green returns and so does civility.

047

I am not sure where everyone goes. My workplace is pretty empty. I work on the second floor with all the other managers and C suite. There was one day it was so quiet I played nature sounds on my computer out loud for the few of us there. It made the interior bleakness of the overly air-conditioned staleness much easy to take. There used to be a tradition in many manufacturing and other corporate places where they actually shut down for the first two weeks in July. I know many people who live only for those two weeks of vacation instead of incorporating the vacation attitude into their lives year round. One time we were driving around a state park up by the River and it was during a very rainy period of time including that day. As we slowly drove past campsites, people were wet and miserable and the looks on their faces were so telling. There was anger and disappointment. I bet they were fun to be around.

orange moon

Full moon at the River in August 2013

Friday night was full moon. I sat in the radiance of the slightly orange glow as wisps of vapors and feathered rainbow clouds drifted slowly across the sky. I am wishing everyone who reads my blog the peace and tranquility of the summer day and the connection of spirit in the summer night.

all photos jdemeis@2014

June and July garden views

Normally I write inside and I though I would show you where I write. In the summer, I move my laptop outside to the garden. I decided tonight to show pictures of the garden. There is another page I added to this blog which shows pictures of the garden in May. These are June and July shots. I spent a lot of time today giving plants a good trimming and weeding and we worked on the new rose bed. I love roses. For my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen and I had them next to me in my indoor spot.

writing spot

Birthday roses 6-15-14

 

I love to grow roses but I have very little sun. I put in one rose bush last year and it  gave me

eight beautiful roses. open roses  This year I added another one that makes abundant little ones.                                            new roses

Now to the rest of my garden, my paradise.

Garden to the left

  Garden to the left

Garden to the right

Garden to the right

This may look like a lot of work to maintain, but it is not.  Having said that, I can hardly move tonight but it is ok….it is a good hurting. I have the mulch put down and the only thing I do is water, mow and prune….. ok, and plant and weed.  The Rhododendron had a tough winter like us all and I did not have the normal blooms. The oldest one suffered freezer burn and I had to whack it back. But it is back completely and blooming. Joe and I  did put work on the lawn and put in new grass as we had nothing after winter. But we had heavy rains and it washed a lot of the seed down the hill. Matter of fact, the drain by our property has wonderful grass growing from it. The new stuff we put in way in back looks great.

Ms. Cookie

Ms. Cookie

The kids love the garden almost as much as Bishop did. I do have a planter in honor of the Bish.

Bishop's planter   Browny and Cooke spend as much time as they can playing and laying in the sun.Browny

This year I skipped growing tomatoes and went for herbs and lettuce. The lettuce is ready to be picked. herbs and dirt for the dogs

basil and catnip   And I am growing all different Basil and catnip for Magoo, our cat.

tiger liliesElgin and friend

                                                                                                          I love my garden.

Turing 60

river morning

This coming week, we are off to the River. It is the first trip this year. Usually, we go up just when the ice is flowing off and the trees are just starting to wake up. But we did not this year. I need the River so much right now. Next Sunday, I will turn 60 and I cannot think of a better place to be. I am struggling mightily with this. I have all sorts of phobias and fears associated with aging. The alternative is not very enticing either. I am grateful for being alive this long.

fledgling eagle

The last couple of years have been a review of my past. I have been looking at things with the guidance of some wonderful people who have helped me to see things for what they are. I feel I have grown wiser and more balanced. I would not trade the experience for anything and yet, I never want to go through it again either.

But now, here is this number staring at me. I cannot avoid it. My mother did not see 60. She died at 59 from an aggressive lung cancer. I was 23. I thought she was not really old. I remember her mother, my Gram, when she was 65 and she WAS old. She had kinky grey hair, and boney gnarled fingers. Her eyes were sunken with dark circles. She had a tough life until her daughter, my Aunt took her in. My Aunt and Uncle were millionaires and they took great care of her. Gram died in her sleep at 92. My Aunt died bitter at 89. Her life was her husband and my Uncle died suddenly six years before and nothing was the same for her. She too, went in her sleep while in hospice care. Although my Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer at 21, she survived with no re-occurrence. She and my Uncle had a great life, especially in retirement. I never saw my Aunt as being old.

My Aunts Ashes and Flowers

MY Aunt B

My father lived to be 71. He went in pieces. He had several bypass surgeries and had his leg amputated when he was in his early 50’s. His side of the family has factor V Leiden which is a blood condition that causes clots. They did not know much about it back then. His mother, my Nana, had it too. He slowly built up plague on his tubing and that caused him to lose the leg and other plumbing issues. It is his illness that causes me great fear. I also have the condition. There is nothing to do about it accept take Coumadin. I was diagnosed with it in 2003 when they found five clots, one located almost in my heart. I was totally blessed and have written about the experience as they all miraculously disappeared. But every time I have cramping in my legs, which I have often, I think…crap…here it comes.

dancing geese

This past month I have been having some major health issues. I have been like the golden goose and passing kidney stones. This condition came about from being over medicated years ago. The drugs caused my right kidney to stop working. I got it functioning back to 41%. This past few months, I have been passing stones again after none for several years. This past week, Tuesday, I was pleased to give birth to triplets, one stone being almost an inch long. One of my dearest friends, who lacks sympathy, has decided I should polish the stones (I have over 30 ) and open up a jewelry shop and call it Pissery Barn. In reaction to having a slow moving collection of stones in my urinary plumbing, I ended up becoming toxic. My output slowed down and what was coming out was battery acid. Yes, I have an immensely high threshold for pain. This was coming on for a couple of weeks. I finally went to the doctor who immediately reacted with more drugs. These drugs, I think, have caused another reaction which is to thin my blood too much. Yesterday and the night before, I was in horrible pain with leg cramps. The solution was to simply stop the drugs and eat a salad.

End of day

End of day

But all this, after not having anything so critical was very scary and disheartening. And then…there is turning 60.

I know I have so much to live for. This is the best time of my life so far. I have something I never had before and that is feeling safe. I think the fear of being so ill suddenly shook my newly built foundation. I have so little faith in western medicine. It was just like I was just getting my head fixed and my spirit in line and then the body went out of alignment. I have heard though that this is not that unusual in the healing process. I am hopeful that this too shall pass. I will find solace in the beauty and peace of the River and I am sure it will help heal me.

What amuses me is that the age of 61 does not bother me a bit. Maybe I will just skip 60.

all photos @jdemeis 2014

Getting Help

The Finger of God

Sunday has arrived again. This week was pleasant in my neck of the woods with warm days and cool nights. Today there will be 30 degree shift from the morning cool to the afternoon high. At least it is not snowing. My thoughts this weekend are about getting help. Some of us stubborn people think we can do it alone and without help and support. I used to think it was a sign of strength and wisdom. It is absolutely the opposite. Actually taking care of you by seeking out help and support is an act of self-worth and love. I had my own adventure this month in arrogant stupidity.

I work with a patient GP who knows he is not going to win with me by shoving pills down my throat. We have tests done and wait things out before we medicate. And the reason for this is because when I was first diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, the multiple doctors I saw all threw pills at me. I was on steroids, chemotherapy and metformin and other prescriptions. The results were to crash one of my kidneys. I am lucky it was only one. I was able through time to bring it up to 41% usage and it has been ok up until recently. Something shifted and something is wrong. I have not been feeling great in other physical ways for about a month. Silly me, I had an appointment coming up and so I waited. There is an issue, and so I have to go through a series of testing until they figure exactly out what. Meanwhile, I have been suffering and I should have gone in sooner. I wanted to escape exactly what I now have to face. Being stubborn about this only has made it worse. I could have had some relief sooner. I wonder how many people are foolish like me who procrastinate and only make things worse.

There are those whose suffering is a life sentence. There is help out there, but it takes courage to face the issues we all naturally have and a strong will to change the way we are. It takes time to find the right help and the right support. I have been blessed to have such great mentors and guides who have helped healed parts of my being that I did not even know were broken. Working on a Spiritual path and healing from past wounds is not for sissies or the weak. It is easy to say that we are above all that or that the person who is trying to help is wrong because we do not like what we hear. But we need help in shedding the old toxins and poisons and we need guidance to show us what we do not know. If you always do what you always do and expect change; that is the definition of insanity.

Sometimes the guidance comes from a friendly source. Sometimes it is just someone to share thoughts with, to dream with and to help focus a path to follow. We are not designed to be alone. We need to support each other and to ask for help. Love is the pure definition of support, especially when it is unconditional. We are here to grow and shine. Maybe the light has dimmed or the walls seem so unsurmountable that we want to give up. There is no shame in asking for a hand. It is human.

Sometimes we see the thing we need the most by helping others find their way. Sometimes we are the giver, and in giving we heal. But you also need to receive to refill your resources because it is easy to become depleted.

There are not enough words to express the gratitude I have for those who have helped me on my path and to help me heal. The only gift I can give them is to live the life they saw for me and to continue to grow and shine my light. I am humbled by the experiences I have had, the depth of the care and love they have shown me, and the patience to let me learn what it is to just be. I am by no means done with this work and I will continue to need support and guidance to grow. I am not embarrassed by this need, I am honored that I have been given the help. Thank you.

The Steady Path

Spring on Lake Ontario

Spring on Lake Ontario

It is time for my Sunday morning post. I used to write every day and although I enjoyed it, I turned the limited time I have before work into my time for meditation. It was a trade-off that has helped me to start my day with a little more calm and being a lot more grounded. I also have begun my nightly ritual of sitting in the garden and ending the day out there. We have not had a lot of nice weather lately and I feel cheated when it is too cold or raining, especially after the winter we had. Sunday is a perfect day to recap the newest steps and thinking from the previous week.
I am trying to reach a state which is what this recent part of my journey has been about. Homeostasis: the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function. I have been diligently working in many areas of my life to achieve this very difficult and sometimes elusive state. I have been reading and from my fellow bloggers, there seems to be a lot of us who are struggling with this. I wonder if it is actually a natural state or being human is made up of highs and lows. I think that is true, but there is a degree of height and depth that needs to be maintained in order to be whole and healthy.
The one thing that keeps the pendulum from erratically swinging is trust. I suck at trust. Anyone who has lived a life like mine would have issues with that. And it is not from living in the past either; it is living in the present completely and being aware. I have had to learn forms of protection and I am learning to instinctively know true danger in the present moment and what is a trigger from the past.
The next step I have taken is to let go. This has been very hard for me as the lack of control is frightening. But, I never really did have control, only the illusion. I am finding this hard because I have always been a goal setter and a scheduled achiever. The big issue is to feel safe and comfortable with simply trusting that the path will be laid out before me and it will be the right one. It does not help that I turn 60 in less than a month. I do not want to waste my precious life only to end up… see; I cannot go there as this only demonstrates my lack of trust that things will be fine. It is so easy to fall into this thinking. I am struggling with my mortality and the concept of being the big 6 0. However, I have never been so aware and my past is no longer a weight I lug around. There is  freedom in the wisdom of letting go. Having a spiritual path is the greatest privilege of being human.
And speaking of traveling a spiritual path, I realized that although the last two years have been a concentrated effort working with mentors and support, this journey actually began when I was very young. At one point around the age of eight, I wanted to devote my life to God and become an Episcopal nun. I got very heavy into Christian studies at 15 in an attempt to find refuge from the storm of my home life. I joined youth groups and was very active in my church. My first real mentor was a priest friend who faded from my life around the time I was 27. He has returned to my circle in the past year as a support. When I was in my forties, I turned to a Pagan path and studied the ways of the Goddess. I have a blended approach now which has only been enhanced by the work and influence of my recent experiences and studies. I have been reading metaphysical authors such as Florence Shinn and Napoleon Hill for over fifteen years and belong to all kinds of email groups with varying degrees of spiritualism.
So I am not new to being spiritual. I am new to the healing and being more even. My path is actually very long and had many turns twists, pot holes, trenches, mud pits and mountains. There will be more of that as long as the Devine allows me to walk the path. The difference is that the holes are not so deep and the mountains are easier to get over. I am equipped with gear to get myself back on my way and the confidence to work through the ruts and tunnels…most of the time. I am human and have doubts, worries and fear still. I am very new to this trust thing and have to keep working until this becomes a solid piece of my knowledge and inner being. Most days I am up to the challenge. What is a new part of me is that I allow the down time to heal and gain strength to move on, as moving on is what I desire. And as the path I travel on steadies a bit more, I move on with my eyes and heart open, trusting myself, being aware and mindful of the great possibilities of life. Amen, So Mote it be, and Namaste.

 

 

Musings on Mother’s Day

SAMSUNG

It is the sign of the changing of the season when Mother’s Day rolls around. All the nurseries open and flowers are available to purchase for the eager gardeners. I am one of those people who wait all year for this. I used to take off from work and go to the nursery to purchase my annuals. I would walk around grinning and nodding to other shoppers who found this ritual to be a total renewal in the faith that life continues on. For some women, this is a time to celebrate children. I am not sure why we have to pin point a specific day for the honoring of child birth, other than to sell cards and flowers. I think it is more important to honor people all the time. But some would say that is my sour grapes speaking.

I am childless. Oh, it is not for lack of trying. I just never was blessed. I went through a lot of the fertility tests and did all the things that were supposed to help. But my husband at the time was not of the same mind, so we never delved into all the reasons why. That is to say in a delicate way, I am not sure if the issue was with me. When the conversation comes around and people are pontificating that they have no regrets, I pipe up that I do. This is the one thing in my life if I had a do-over, I would. I wanted children since I was a child. I had names picked out. I kept things for them to give them when they came into my life. There is nothing I can do to change that now, but I do feel I have the right to be regretful about this.

I have had wonderful children come into my life. I am still in contact with some of my favorite students who were mid-teens when we first met. Many of them now have their own families. I am very close to my two nephews and love them to pieces. But they are in Florida and only talk on the phone with very sporadic visits. I am hoping to end up living nearer to them at some point.

My husband’s family is pretty close and yet, there is a huge gap between his feelings of connection with them. We spent this weekend in the hospital because his father had a huge scare. He seems to be ok, but then, we are not being told the whole truth by his older brother. When we visited Dad without anyone else in the room, he told us he has end stage renal disease. He also said he is not planning on making his 94 birthday which is in October. I am not sure how severe the situation really is as he is not on dialysis and it has not come up in conversations at all.

The real issue this Mother’s day is his Mom. She has dementia and probably Alzheimer’s. Joe does not spend time with his mother and so we only see her with the family and she is pretty quiet but very nasty. This concentrated time this weekend really highlighted how bad she has gotten. The stress is probably what put Dad in the hospital. They have been married 64 years. She is totally dependent on him and yet is horrible to him. So the family is facing putting her in Memory Care where she will get the care she needs and my father-in-law (FIL) can get stronger and have a good remaining life. You can see the pain and guilt it is causing my FIL, but something must be done as she is becoming dangerous. She is wandering in the night, and has other issues. He deserves better care for himself.

My thoughts are how sad that this is how she is going to end her life. She has three children, none can help her now. She is horrible to everyone as the confusion of dementia is scary. Her children see her as a twisted monster, and not the mother who gave them life. She will spend her remaining years alone as even with the family close, she has no clue as to who we are sometimes. Yesterday as I sat with her, she was peaceful and enjoying our visit. But she was lost, and repeatedly asked where her husband was. When we were sitting with Dad in the hospital, we called and his sister put her on the phone so she could talk to him. His face completely changed and you could see and hear the love they still have for each other. This whole weekend has reminded me how precious relationships are.

My Mom died when I was 22. I have been without her for almost 2/3 of my life. There have been many moments in my life when I miss her. I am lucky that I have had great female friendships that have connected me with the nurturing part of my soul. I am by large, a nurturing person too. I connect with Mother Earth so strongly and get my strength from her. My garden is my refuge, my plants and animals are my children. So today, I honor the part of us all that sustains and gives us strength to grow, to love and be loved. I honor the Mother in us all.