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Archive for the ‘The Letters’ Category

Mother,
      My heart looks for you everywhere.  When I arrive at the airport.  When I enter your house.  Looking in the dining room I see Regina – and for a second – my heart thinks she is you.  My heart skips a beat and a flash of excitement runs through me – only to be sobered by reality.
     My mind imagines that our grief over losing you is greater than your grief over losing your mother and I know that is not true.  I’m embarrassed at how little we knew about how to assist you through that experience.

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Dear Mother,
     Right now, everyone is gone.  It is evening and I sit in the living room in the middle of the sofa and I feel only a fraction of what you must have felt every time the troops arrived and departed.  There is a lump in my throat, a sadness in my eyes, a breaking open of my heart, a tingle in my stomach.
     And now, a curiosity enters my eyes and a sense of excitement.  So I imagine that sad moment would translate into freedom and excitement for you, too. 
     You were so brave.  I know that for you it was nothing, but to me you seemed so brave.  To let 9 pieces of your heart loose into the world for better things and sometimes for worse things. 
   And my first desire is to sit at the piano and play.  How can that be?  Are you inside of me?  I am happy to play for you – just remember, I don’t play the piano as well as you – I only stumble.
    I feel your stance, your nobility, your way in me as I consider it and so I know it is your desire.  So I will play.

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Mother,
     We go through your things too quickly.  Thousands of objects in this house – big ones, little ones, your hands have touched them all.
     I learned recently that our hands and arms are part of the energy circuitry of our hearts.  That means your heart has also touched each of these objects.
     Everything feels so soft when I touch it.  It seems to have your love on it.  Everything and everywhere.  How do you do that?
     Everyone thinks I cry because you are gone – and that’s not it.  I cry because our expression of love seems so meager compared to yours.  Ours is so hard compared to your softness.  How will we ever learn?

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Mother,
     Efficiency and love are definitely NOT the same thing.  I remember reading that speed is not of the devil, it IS the devil.  I don’t know if that is true (I enjoy lots of fast things) but I find my curiosity for efficiency is almost completely gone.  I am giving way to the curiosity of the big love.
     Thank you.

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There they are…

Mother,
     On Monday we looked out the sunroom window and there was a redbird couple in the tree.
A male and a female redbird together.  Suzie saw it too, and we said, “There they are.”
     How many years I watched you watching the birds in your garden and in your trees.  From the house and while sitting outside.  I know how rare is the appearance of a red bird couple and I know your spirits are together — and I know you and Daddy are happy.
     You two belong together.  You did a great job of being strong when Daddy died – making sure we all stayed happy.  And over time, I could feel you wanting to be with him.
     Eleven years is a long time to be without the love of your life.

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Dear Mother,
     Do you remember when I was about 9 years old, I asked you what is it like in heaven?  You told me that it is very beautiful there and when you’re in heaven you’re with God and you are very, very happy.  And absolutely all of your desires are met.  As soon as you want something – it appears!  Do you remember telling me that? 
     And do you remember I said, “Even ice cream?”  And you said, “Yes. Even ice cream.”  Isn’t it funny what 9 year olds think of?  How you answered without laughing I’ll never know.  So that is for me the difference between heaven and hell.  People are making either heaven or hell for each other. 
    I remember hundreds of times you made heaven on earth for me and everyone in the family. And I want you to know how powerful that is for me now.  I think that is the ultimate life purpose – to create heaven here and now.

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Mother,
Brutality as a communication style is hardly what I would have expected within days of your passing.  And I see it is simply an habitual way we all have of relating.  Ugh.  Too bad.  I remember it causing you pain many times.
     When everyone is gone the house is peaceful – as if you had locked the doors yourself – turned out the lights in each room as you have for the last 30 years – straightened and ordered what had been moved during the day …
     There is no peace when everyone is here – people speak and do not hehar each other – ask for things and do not get them.  It is a quick trip to hell – like a Fellini film.  The darkest side of Italian chaos.
     On the day you died, we came home – 2 am I think – and though every bed and sofa in the house was taken, I don’t think anyone slept.  And then the daylight came anyway.  I did not want daylight to come.  Daylight arrives even when you don’t want it to.
     The softness of your love continued on through the day.  Everyone spoke gently to each other and I thought “wow” we got it.  Everyone sees now how delicate life is – they really do.  How we must tend to each other, work for each other, do for each other.
    What a relief.  Just enjoy the rest of the time here.  No one has to say anything.  It’s already done.
It’s a miracle.
    Or not.
     By Tuesday people were rought with each other again.  It seems the brutality comes in the daylight and softness returns with the night.  Why is that?

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