Mom and me

‘Getting through’ the holidays this year for me was more than just managing a packed calendar. As Christmas drew closer, I felt the grief upsurges and found myself just wanting Christmas to be over. My beloved mother, Wanda, died the night before Christmas Eve around 6pm in 2015 in my home. She made it less than a year from her ALS diagnosis and she was a young 70 years old. She had lost her ability to speak early on, and gradually lost her ability to eat or walk. She spent the last six weeks of her life in a hospice bed that we placed in the front room next to the Christmas tree. If I don’t mind my thoughts and feelings, I can find myself quickly getting pissed off that she was ‘taken’ from us and wondering why we didn’t have more time to do fun things together.

But I know too much about the Law of Attraction and I can never stay angry for long. You see, my mom was ready to go to another adventure. She told me as much. The summer before she passed, we were sitting in my back yard and I was sobbing uncontrollably, telling her that she just simply couldn’t go – that we weren’t done exploring the world together. My mom had been married to my dad for 45 years, and while she deeply loved him, it was a hard life with Mike. After he had passed the previous year, I wanted my mom to be able to relax and hang up the role of caregiver that she had played for over a decade after her husband had his stroke at the age of 65. I wanted my mom to be able to have a ‘normal’ life, one where money troubles and sickness were a thing of the past for her. I wanted to help her have fun!

But as I expressed what I wanted for her on that beautiful July afternoon, she was writing down that she couldn’t be with me forever and that she was tired. My mom and I used to study the Law of Attraction together and I got the feeling from her that she felt her purpose for this particular life was done. After spending most of her life in banking, her eyes used to light up at the possibility of starting another venture as a geologist or archeologist or dolphin researcher. She even told me that she wanted the chance sometime to be a nun! She used to refer to ‘quantum soup’, expressing that she could feel that she was part of this larger energy field and that this particular body/life was just temporary.

The Law of Attraction shows us that thoughts which are mixed with any of the feelings of emotions constitute a “magnetic” force which attracts other similar or related thoughts. I can do far more good in the world if I focus on the qualities of what I appreciated about Wanda and how I strive to be more like her everyday. It would serve no one for me to sit around and be jaded or sad; she would want me to be productive and use my physical and emotional energy to help others, just as she tried to do. She would want me to be positive and look to the future. So I choose my thoughts carefully and when I find myself with a grief upsurge, I allow myself to miss her with a great cry and then I gently start reminding myself of the good my mother brought to this world and how her legacy of kindness continues. When I write down what I’m grateful for I notice that my sadness eases up and I feel lighter:

I’m so happy and grateful that I had such an attentive mom.
I’m so happy and grateful that we got to go to Hawaii and Mission Beach together.
I’m so happy and grateful that she was able to be of service to her friends, family and husband.
I’m so happy and grateful that we got to swim with the dolphins together.
I’m so happy and grateful that she taught me so much about people and their inherent goodness.
I’m so happy and grateful that we visited the Rose Bowl Parade and smelled those incredible flowers.
I’m so happy and grateful that she got to meet my fabulous husband and lived five years with us in our beautiful home before she passed.

In his book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You, Mike Dooley says, “So what’s the point of life? Name what virtually everyone else, no matter their creed or culture, would agree with, and suddenly, just maybe, you’ll nail the answer to that age-old question. Why? To love, to be loved and to pursue happiness. Within these there are more reasons: to create, to change, to serve, to learn, to laugh, and so on, and so on. But these are three main reasons at the top of everyone’s list.”

I count my blessings every day that I had such a wonderful and caring mother. She taught me a lot about people always reminding me that, “There is always a reason why people act or behave in a certain way.” She taught me to be curious about others, to have empathy and to love. I don’t stay mad for long when I think about my mom, my best friend because I have this knowing, this feeling, that she is off on another adventure, fulfilling whatever purpose God/Universe might have for her.