MY MOM'S FINAL WORDS

Some people are close to their mothers, others have complicated relationships that leave us yearning to heal and love no matter the odds. Nine years ago, during the final minutes of my mother's life, I was given a gift that has carried me through the years.

My mom felt deeply. She channeled those feelings into fame, craving the spotlight like I crave chocolate. Mom often told me that it was only when she was on stage that she felt loved. Ever since I was a child, my mother told me stories of betrayal, hurt and laid her anger at my feet. Wanting her love, I picked up her burdens and stored them in my heart.

Even though at the core I knew that she loved me, I was never enough. Until, in her 80's she got colon cancer. My first instinct was to abandon her the way I believed that she abandoned me during some very trying times in my life. Yet, love is such a powerful emotion and I made it my mission to be right by her side. Our relationship became more tender and began to morph into what I had always wanted our relationship to be.

Towards the very end of her life, she was in agony. Trying to comfort her, I got Hospice to bring her a softer mattress so that she could sleep. They did. Then one day, I got a call filled with rage. Mom told me that she never wanted to speak with me again. Why, I thought to myself. Why when we are finally bonding is she throwing my love away... again.

The hurt seared my heart. I gave up. Then, her nurse called me and said that she believed my mom was going to pass any day. She told me that I needed to call Mom, no matter what she had done. I did and during that call, my whole life with her became clear.

Through sobs, Mom said, "You must be very disappointed in me!"

Disappointed? "Why would I be disappointed?" I asked, feeling totally thrown off.

"Because you got me that mattress for me and I couldn't get on it," she answered. "I know you tried so hard to make everything okay for me, you must be so disappointed..."

Finally, everything became crystal clear. All the anger she showed me was because the thought of being vulnerable must have made her feel unprotected and weak. So many people had hurt her and she didn't want to get too close to me because I might hurt her too.

Something re-wired my heart. Love flowed through me and I realized that it is never too late to forgive.

On the day that Mom passed, I had a knowing and filled the room with white roses. As my mom went through her transition, I had the honor of holding her hand and singing all of her favorite songs. She mouthed the name of Hannah, her beloved grandmother, and then with her last breath, Mom said that she loved me... 25 times. Those words still reverberate in my heart!

Then I watched in wonder as a bolt of light seemed to fly out of her body. My mom, as I knew her, was gone. Yet, a new mom, one that is an angel on my shoulder, is a constant reminder that once a personality transitions, only pure love can come through.

 

 

THE ANGRY BARISTA!

Often times we make assumptions about why people are acting in a certain way. Sometimes all it takes is a question to find out what's really happening.

While standing in line to get a cup of coffee, I saw a tattooed, scraggly haired, earring wearing barista being rude to everyone in line. How can he be so mean to his customers, I thought to myself. He's in the "service" business...

Although my first reaction was judgmental, I wanted to look beyond what I was seeing.  Did his demeanor really match his looks, or, was there a little bit more to this story?

When I got up to the counter, I asked, "You look upset, is something wrong?"

At first he glared at me. Most likely he was wondering why I had invaded his space. Then slowly, the barista's face morphed right before my eyes. Suddenly, he looked like a little boy who was afraid and alone.

"My mom is in the hospital. She's got cancer and I'm not sure if she's going to make it," he answered.

The barista looked down, willing himself not to look into my eyes. I thought that I saw a tear form at the corner of his eye. It was like the tear stains that leave a faint impression on a letter.

I told him that I cared. He looked at me and in the middle of all the energy that was happening in the book store, we held each others gaze for a few minutes. It felt surrealistic.

I ended up buying a card for his mom and writing my heart-felt sentiments on it. I handed it over to the barista and went on my way. It was a life-changing moment because I realized that so many times we get it wrong. We take things personally without realizing what another person is going through.

If only we took the time to check in with other people to see what is happening in their world! I believe that understanding is POWER!

A few weeks later I went back and saw the barista. He was a whole new person, smiling and helping everyone in line. When I got to the counter he quickly came over and gave me a hug. I found out that his mother loved the card and he was appreciative that someone cared! It made my heart feel a little fuller.

This experience reminds me that there is always a story behind a story. Just like a kaleidoscope, when we listen, we can create a different outcome.

 

 

 

THE CATALYST

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I was hovering between life and death.

There was something terribly wrong and yet the doctors misdiagnosed me. None of them agreed: they tossed around diseases like MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and anxiety as if they were sharing multi-colored M & M’s at a family picnic.

To my horror, I ended up spending three years being practically bedridden. The arrow that broke my heart wasn’t the physical pain as much as it was the abandonment and misunderstanding of those closest to me. Since no doctor agreed, then maybe it was all in my head.

In a paltry whine, I asked my dad how I could have helped so many people and yet there seemed to be no one there for me. In fact, to make things worse, a lot of the people that I had helped in the past were thriving. His eyes twinkled as a smile tickled his lips.

“Do you know what a catalyst is?” he asked. “

“Kind of,” I answered, feeling exasperated by this seemingly silly question.

Dad explained that a catalyst is usually a chemical that when added to something else, changes it. He instructed me to get a bowl of water and some food color. I did as I was told. Oh, okay, but what does this have to do with my feelings of utter despair, I thought to myself.

He asked me to put two drops of food color into the water. I chose blue because it is my favorite color. The blue drops, or catalyst in this instance, cascaded into the clear liquid. Then, Dad asked me to stir the water until it was a light blue and so I did.

With a wisdom that can only be described as uncanny, Dad asked me to retrieve those two blue drops of food dye!

“I can’t do that!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly! You can’t remove a catalyst from the thing it effects.

You are like those two blue drops in all of the lives you have touched. There is no way to remove the impact that you had on all of the people that you have helped. Whatever they do, you’ll always be part of that. And, whatever you do, they’ll always be part of that."

This was my IN AWE moment! Something at the core of me changed. I realized that no matter what, my energy was out in the universe and would be there until the end of time.

I have learned so much from there to here and my greatest wish is for you to know that you are like those two blue drops. Sometimes it is impossible to see with the naked eye, but you do MATTER! Always will...

 

ONLY ONE DAY!

ONLY ONE DAY!

Why stay in the moment? Because otherwise we might miss the daily miracles that surround us. Take for example the common fringe lily... it only opens for one day. ONE DAY! It grows in southeast Australia and is a delicious fusion of lavender and purple with fringe embellishing the petals.

Green isn't GREEN!

Did you know that green isn't really GREEN! I wanted to know how many shades of green there are. So now that I consider myself the "WHYS GAL," I looked it up and discovered the most amazing thing. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue, which appears green to our eyes. The more chlorophyll a plant has determines what shade of green we see! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Especially to all my artist friends. So, does that mean a (green) dollar bill is really a thousand dollar bill? I'll look into it and let you know...