A Year and Some Later…


My mother died just over a year ago. I didn’t really have the inclination to keep up with the blog after that. I suppose it’s because I thought she was probably the only one reading it. Ah well, in that time I did have things I wanted to share. A couple of weeks after she passed away, I noticed a sky that was overwhelming in its absolute gloriousness; the clouds were mountainous and had parted to let through a huge array of beams, the kind of thing you see in the movies, I’m sure there was something like it in the ten commandments.

I remember living in Vancouver and, one night, after going through the pain of being dumped by an on-the-rebound short lived relationship, I was walking across the Burrard street bridge on my way from work as a barista in Kitsilano, back to my studio in the West End. I paused at one of those small decks overlooking the passage into False Creek. The night was clear, characteristically for the dry Septembers, and the sky filled with stars. I looked up and knew, with no question, that I wasn’t alone. There was too much out there–the dark mountains and the full starry sky beyond and above, to think that I wasn’t part of something, what, I know not. But there was an incredible feeling of comfort that has never left me. Not since that night. I can’t say that it takes the shape of anything, it is just the knowing that I am connected to it all. To all of this.

Now back to the sky that caught my breath after my mother had died. When I looked up to that immense canyon leading out to the blueness and brightness and so full of light, I had to smile. It was as if my mother had kicked me in the butt to say “damned if I’m outta here.” Though I have felt the sorrow of not being able to be with her physically and tell her my stories, for which she was always the best audience, I feel comfort in knowing in my heart that she is in a place of pure light and love.

I remember walking in the field days later, crying and hoping that she, wherever she was, would not be sad at seeing me crying and missing her. Inside my tears I knew I would survive, although there were other tearful times when I told myself “I didn’t sign up for this kind of emotional pain.”

Where I am living is close to nature with few distractions of sounds from the man made world, just the odd vehicle on the distant road. Visually I see only things of nature, when my back is to the house. I think it makes it easier to sense the messages that surround us moment to moment.

I had violets grow in my garden last spring that I never planted and were coincidentally my mother’s favourite flower. The morning of my birthday, recently, the cardinal which I haven’t seen for over a year, dropped by while I stared out at the trees with my coffee. My mother and I used to talk about the cardinals. She even enlarged a photo of one that I had sent her, and put it in a Christmas calendar for me. These things happen frequently and I have to smile.

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