Unseen Journey

I keep wondering why Mom is still here when she wants to leave and go home – she misses my Dad and Josephine, her cat.  She seems more in another world than here in this life.  I have wondered what her purpose and contract is for this particular lifetime and I think I may now have a partial answer.  At least it makes sense to me, though it is her purpose and life rather than mine.   My sister Candy wrote this and it helps me see it from a different perspective.

I am so surprised that Mom has lived so long since Daddy’s passing, yet I have come to realize that she got to see so much of my own career changes, plus helping me through financially turbulent times, by staying. Now that I have business partners, it feels like I have finally landed in a safe place, and all the creative works that were in jeopardy in the financial crash have been rescued so that we can grow and prosper in this new publishing paradigm. Mom would have liked that; to know her faith in me was not misplaced. 
Of course, all Mom really wanted was for all of us to be happy, and even though we cannot guarantee that, we can choose to love each other the best we can, believe in each other and in ourselves, and also cherish our own private journeys, making choices that only God/Spirit/OverSoul will see. Perhaps Mom needed these years without Daddy to claim her own private soul journey. Who knows? It’s all part of the great Mystery, isn’t it? 
I do know one thing in my heart, though there is no “proof” that will convince any skeptic. That our souls keep growing and that this life is only one stage of a longer and larger journey. Even now, though Mom seems to be sinking into another world, this time is not “useless” but may be an incredibly important unseen work that will bear fruit only on the other side. 
I am more and more convinced that we must live our lives well and do the best we can, but then to let go of the results and to not judge. We don’t know what seemingly “unimportant” choice in our lives can have an effect that will reverberate in ways we cannot see. Who knows what is being accomplished in ways that cannot be seen on earth? We catch glimpses of our own stories, seen partially, as in a rear view mirror. How one choice affected our lives, even if we didn’t know at the time how important that choice would be. 
This stage of Mom’s journey is teaching me to let go and to allow her to have her own experience–something beyond her role as my mother and our adult friendship. I don’t know why she needs this particular form of leaving us. It has definitely taught me that there were many mercies in Daddy’s sudden passing. But then, there have been many mercies in this passing, in spite of the sadness and difficulties. 
Perhaps her process helps us in our process of saying goodbye. I’m sure that the feeling of Mom as all-powerful and all-knowing was just one stage of childhood, but I found I still carried that feeling with me into adulthood. And so if Mom didn’t understand what I wanted to do (move to Nashville and be a songwriter, among many things) part of me always wondered if she was right and I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong. She supported me. But there were some accomplishments and dreams she could share, and others that were outside of her interests and understanding. Now I am no longer reporting to Mom (other than in prayer and sending invisible love) and am taking responsibility for my life in a new way. And finding unexpected freedom to have my own experience, even if it is different from hers. 
I love reading D.E. Stevenson and other novelists we both loved. I share that with Mom in my heart. But I also love going to songwriter nights, and I know Mom might appreciate the fellowship of kindred spirits, but she wouldn’t have cared much for some of the forms that fellowship comes through in my life. There’s nothing disreputable about my songwriter friends (though they may sometimes be a bit raffish) but they just wouldn’t be her kind of people and she would not have appreciated most of them (or the reason to mess around with writing songs in the first place). But she would have appreciated the laughter and fun. 
Now Mom is showing me that it’s okay for us to have differing experiences, and sometimes the only thing we might have in common is the human journey. Since Mom’s journey is basically out of our hands (other than Lee and Eddie creating the safe set up so she could navigate this solo journey), there’s no use in feeling guilty that we can’t help her more–or that she can no longer participate in our journeys. I’m seeing that we are connected by Something so much larger than our limited human experience.
I also comfort myself knowing that we live life one minute at a time. And Mom does, too. I think that her world (at least on this side) is probably absorbed in the same kind of experiences we have when we are ill. Disoriented, feverish, and experiences based on bodily issues. At the same time, a dream world which is larger and stranger than earth reality. We already know she saw others during her train phase. I believe she is even more guarded in this portion of the journey by angels and ancestors. And, of course, our prayers. So I send love, believing that whatever she can’t use right now will be gathered up and taken with her when she begins that final journey and reaches her destination. I keep visualizing her on a brilliant but foggy shore, and Daddy and Josephine walking toward her through the mist, and following behind all the friends and family she knew. And she will know them there as she never knew them on earth; they will be seen so much more clearly in the bright sunlight of that other dimension where all the earthly realities become the dream, and we will live in the light of greater realities.
She wrote this in an email that really touched me and be more positive about Mom and her life path and purpose.  Thank you Candy for writing this post, I couldn’t have said it half as well as you have.  I realize I am too close to Mom and her journey, too close to see it objectively – I am grateful for my two sisters, they help me keep things in perspective.  Ellen said in an email:

I too am so grateful to Candy for her ability to express the seemingly inexpressible as we go through the process of feeling our way along with Mom and her changes.

I am seeing gifts in Mom’s dementia that I didn’t expect, so it isn’t all gloom, doom and depression. I need to pay more attention to see what she is teaching me with her journey with dementia.

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