Most everyone reading this knows that my mother died last month, and that my beautiful kitty Pumpkin also went to that giant catnip mouse in the sky. I have another kitty, Elmer. He has been a constant in my life for a very long time. He is close to twenty now and has outlived a whole lotta cats that have come and gone from our care.
We adopted Elmer from a cardboard box full of kittens that was being watched over by a little boy and his mother. When I picked up a tiny black and white kitten, the boy said, "Please take him. He's the runt and no one else wanted him." Well that tugged at my heart too much and I had to bring him home. He was barely old enough to be away from his mother, his claws didn't even contract yet. But here he was a handful of cuteness, sitting in my lap all the way home.
I had another cat then, Elsie. She was old, crotchety, and set in her ways. Her companion, Isis, had a tragic end when she escaped the house and ran right into a pack of Coyotes. Elsie had been alone for several years.
To Elsie, Elmer was the interloper. It was so amazing to see his tiny little back arch up as he stood on tippy toes and bravely hissed at this gigantic old queen who was showing her disapproval at his arrival. So I scooped him up and we went into the bedroom, door shut. In the bathroom, I placed a litter box next my big, old ball and claw bathtub but he was too small to climb into it, so I folded a towel to act as a step. He only needed a little prompting to know exactly what to do.
Relationships offer us the biggest opportunities for learning lessons in life, for discovering who we are, what we fear, where our power comes from, and the meaning of true love.
It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear, but it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time.
As a cardiologist for over a quarter century, I dealt with life and death circumstances on a daily basis. I came to fully appreciate how precious and tenuous life can be; it can change in an instant. On June 30th of 2009 such a dramatic shift occurred in our family when our son, Tyler, was involved in an automobile accident sustaining a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.
As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In a Nano-second, our entire family was thrust into the midst of one of the fiercest storms imaginable.
Why do disruptive, terrible things like this happen? Why must there be such anguish? Does it serve any purpose?” These were questions that had answers . . . but it would take quite some time for me to sift through the quagmire in order to uncover them.
There were three things that helped me navigate the storm:
What if we started taking some chances, if we stepped into our fears? What if we went further, if we were to pursue our dreams, follow our desires? And what if we allowed ourselves to experience love freely and to find fulfillment in our relationships?
Wow! First of all, I apologize for the late update. My life has crashed and burned and I am waiting to rise like the Phoenix into a new and more beautiful existence.
On July 24, my mother passed away suddenly. I found her in her bed when I went in to wake her for breakfast. She was lying peacefully with her hands clasped together. She was looking toward the window on her left side and had a beautiful smile on her face.
I was both relieved that she was no longer having to live the hellish life that had been her existence for the last few years. She had mild to moderate dementia and the terrible arthritis in her back had robbed her of her ability to walk or even toilet herself.
It was my job to care for her every need, and I did it gladly. If you read my article and blog about poop, you know what i'm talking about. So that was the positive part of her death. But, there is another side, of course. I went into deep grief, tears, feeling torn apart by the memories of her as the perfect mother for me. Each photo I looked at, each item from her closet I touched when we were cleaning out her things, swept me up in waves of grief and sorrow.
I bounced back and forth between the two for days. I thought I had a visitation where she assured me that all was well and that she had crossed over into the light.
A few days later, in the middle of tne night, I woke up and went into the hallway on my way to the bathroom. My mother there, on the floor.
She was frightened, didn't know what had happened. She was still in the form of her astral body that acted like her physical body. Her loving husband, was there, trying to catch her attention but she was too confused to see him. Her dementia had not yet worn off and she was in such a state of agitation that I nearly cried. But, I gathered my wits together, talked to her about what had happened, told her to look "over there" and see her husband trying to connect with her. I called in her favorite angels to help guide her way.