Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude: Channels of Light


As we enter the week, and the place, and the space of thanks-giving, I am drawn, as if by a magnet, to the channels of light amidst the dark and challenging spaces.

Each day, each moment, in this second home of mine in Alaska, is a moment to be treasured. It does not truly matter how hard that moment might be in physical, or even in emotional terms. It is never truly hard.....simply because I am blessed to have them. To have the moments, the spaces and the places that I can share with this amazing Alaskan family of mine. I just need to remember that, remember it each and every day as I have to take a deep breath and call on my reserves once again.

Yes, I miss my Oregon family of my own. I miss my hubby, my house, my three cats, my possessions, my hobbies and most of all...my time and space for me. But here, I can truly feel that I am being who I truly am. The person that I have spent a lifetime finding my way towards being. A person who seeks to give from herself in all ways.....the best that she can, without anger or judgment or self-pity. or blame. It's not easy. It is extremely, extremely hard. It just is... as it is here.....and I am, as I am. I have to be so many different kinds of accepting, so many different kinds of strong and call on reserves that I never truly knew I had in me.

One month ago, my mother almost died and my father was ill and giving up. Both were in emergency rooms and hospitals......and life was at its tide's greatest ebb.

Now, it is so bustling with life and with activity.... that there are few empty spaces inbetween. But the energy is invigorating and re-activating to lives that almost ended. And now it is bursting at the seams with new life, new energy, new heartfelt gratitude, and with re-newed hope.

Two days ago, I was reminded that life and death are only one breath apart. As the strongest member of my Alaskan family walked my mother up their living room stairs to her bedroom, she suddenly turned, twisted, lurched backwards and fell. She fell as if one was watching a stunt woman on a TV drama, twisting and turning all the way down the stairs.....to the very bottom.

My brother watched, helplessly and unbelievably, from the steep 10th step up.....as I ran across the width of the living room to her, my slippers falling off me and flying through time and space.

My mother murmured and then moved. Her neck was not broken, her bones felt smooth, the arm caught under her body came out easily. She talked to us and was able to follow the directions that I gave her.

When people tell you there is no such thing as a miracle, and that everything has an explanation for why it happens, I tell you that there are nothing but miracles....for our lives are filled with them. What we see and know to be true might not yet by fully evident, but all that is real and all that is illusion is simple that one breath away.

In the morning, my mother had no memory of the fall, whatsoever. She had no headache, and no bruises, and unbelievably so....no pain. As an empathic healer, my own ribs were on fire, my head pounded, and every single inch of my body is in agony. But I am perfectly fine in every way.

Explain to me, then, I gently ask...how can this possibly be? Because I am doing what I was meant to do, I quietly whisper.....and everything is......exactly as it should be. And that..... is what Thanksgiving is truly about.

shown above:

The Gastineau Channel, a flowing current between two firmaments of land that created the city of Juneau and the town of Douglas.

Alaska.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm so glad your mother is okay. I was watching Marvin's Room - upon a blogger's recommendation, and was really touched with a particular line. She took care of her father and aunt, and she said she was really lucky to have so much love in her life, not because they loved her, but because she got a chance to love them.

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  2. Our parents loved and cared us from the beginning ~ and I'm grateful that you are having this chance to live out and share in the far end of life's circle...

    Thanksgiving blessings all around.

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  3. I'm glad your mom is OK! How scary!

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  4. Michele,
    I have been wondering how you and your family were doing in Alaska so I am glad to see your posting-

    I am sorry to hear of your mother's terrifying fall- it speaks to the fragility of life- in a heartbeat things change.. Your mother has a strong desire to be in this world - she has survived many challenging things.

    As always you continue to find the ways to have hope and think positively- it is a great gift of being..
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours..
    Regards,
    Anna

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  5. Sending love and good wishes your way. What a beautiful post. You always touch me when you write like that.

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and your blog entry so touched my heart, thank you for your words. I am grateful that your mom was not seriously injured with her fall. I believe that God allows opportunities for us to witness for him, and your blog entry truly speaks of a miracle! God bless you and yours!

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  7. What a beautiful writing--- never give up the faith.....Happy Thanksgiving.

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  8. You are on a roll. It seems every woman goes through what you are going through trying to take care of aging parents. It's a rite of passage. Did you watch Dance with the Stars this season? Who were you rooting for? I wanted Warren Sapp to win coz he made the most improvement during the show.

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  9. Blessing abound that we never know about. Please remember to take care of yourself while you are taking care of your parents.

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  10. Wonderful Blog. Today is Blog Comment Day. I had to leave you a comment. I have been reading your blog for some time.
    Hope you have a perfect day
    Cindy

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.