I have been suffering from writers block when it comes to blogging. Simply put, FEAR! I decided that yesterday would be my jumping off point… time to LEAP into it! Face the Fear… why yesterday? It was the bittersweet celebration of the LIFE of two extremely important souls in my life that ended 6 years ago in true love story fashion.
On Valentine’s Day, 2006, I was busy organizing and going through boxes that had sat for entirely too long in my bedroom. I was feeling the elation that the process of organization causes when finely started a long needed clearing of clutter in one’s life. Just then, the phone rang. My husband was calling to tell me that my mom had died. Her death was far from expected. I had never contemplated the thought of her not being here. She just always WAS. It was surreal. I was floating above the world and I could not find anything to grasp on to pull me back to the ground.
Suddenly, I found myself at the farm where we grew up. I do not recall the ride there, just the arrival. There was an ambulance and people all about. No sense of haste…just people standing, chatting. I walked slowly to the center of it all. It was like walking through a fog and then in the ‘clearing’ lay my mom…. on the ground as if she had laid down gently and quietly and went to sleep, her hands cupped beneath her head. My father sat over her, crying. His world turned upside down and never to be the same again. The days of morning teas and shuffling through bills and the business of the day together were gone…just like that. One moment she was writing emails while my dad listened to political happenings on a TV where the volume was entirely too loud. The next, she lay there at the foot of her deck, amongst her sculptures and creations. Her two faced sculpture on an 8 foot pole leaned over her with it’s sad face showing as if it was mourning it’s creator. If she could choose where she would die, she would have chosen to die outside among the trees and the fresh air. She did.
The next year was a year of absolute turmoil for my dad as he struggled with losing her. His heart was broken….shattered into a million pieces. He was a short little Indian man with the strength of the warrior and the humor of the jester. He greeted everyone with ‘Hello My Friend’ and a polite and meaningful wave. He was a ray of light in your day. When Mom and he would come to visit, he would sit in our driveway in their old black cadillac, blaring the horn to let us know they had arrived. It always made us smile. If he needed something done, he called whomever he needed to call whether they sat behind the desk of political position or whether they sat behind the wheel of a dilapidated Chevy. He MADE things happen. He faced many fears in his lifetime and built a powerhouse of strength in his soul as he faced them. But a broken heart will destroy the greatest of warriors and he was finally defeated. She was his sword. She was his armor. On that Valentine’s Day morning, he was stripped naked and fell into a pit of despair and he would not find his way out.
On Valentine’s Day 2007, a year later, I prepared to mourn the anniversary of my mom’s leaving by joining the family to go Taco Time with dad (THEIR special place) and visit the cemetery which had become his shrine to her over the past year as he took flowers and objects and decorated her grave almost every day. The folks at the cemetery recognized a broken heart and they allowed him to break their rules while he wallowed in the pain of losing her. On Valentine’s Day 2007, I received a phone call in the morning. “Dad is dead.” Three words and it was over. He had gone to be with her. His heart was no longer broken and he was no longer in despair. He had found his way out of the pit at last. This earthly world had become his purgatory and he was now free. And now he stood in Heaven, beside his beloved where he finally felt whole again.
My Valentine’s days no longer mean what they did 7 years ago. They have evolved from a time where at the last minute I would scour the store for unnecessary gifts for loved ones (after all, if you love someone, shouldn’t you show them all year round?), to a mourning of the loss of my soul partner in art and finding the magic in life’s journey (the loss of mom), to a mourning of the loss of both of my greatest teachers in life (the loss of both of them), to a celebration of LIFE for I am grateful for the life I had WITH them and I am grateful for the life I have now BECAUSE of them. They gave me the gift of sight…to see the beauty in this world and to feel it deep within. The gift to find the magic in our journey.
So from this day forward, in honor of that gift, I will LEAP!! And I will FLY because that is what they taught me to do.