|Posted on March 14, 2011 at 11:10 AM|
Before mom died, in what turned out to be her last moments of verbal clarity, her thoughts were these: She said “Don’t be rigid. Be accepting and loving.” (This was a profound statement to me because in my mother’s life she could be very rigid. She was incredibly pious, and after 16 years as a Catholic nun, she held strict moral standards that did not allow for human frailty, for mistakes. This aspect of her personality made her less accepting, causing her to seem less loving even though she loved very deeply. I feel, based on experience and observation, that she suffered a distancing from some of her loved ones due to this aspect of her personality.)
“How can we open a door, so that a door is open for people even in this cold, dark night.” (This is a metaphor for how she felt about the difficulties of trying to be accepting and loving. She acknowledges here what a struggle it is to remain open to others in the midst of the disturbing difficulties that we inevitably encounter in this life. The image is striking to me; these words illuminate the accumulated wisdom of her lifetime, what she may have worked to change if she could live her life over again.)
“We need to pray, to pray that whatever this thing is between us, all different nationalities, we are all God’s children. We want to be used by God; please God use us as your instruments.”(This points to a letting go of our own attachments and allowing spirit to work through us, in this way we can lose our ego and our self consciousness, or our separation from others, our fears.)
“Be quiet and listen, we don’t have to have all of the answers right away. It might be years before we know some answers. So work together, fuss together, disagree together.” (The final words, with the repetition of “together,” are all about love, she is urging us to stay connected, be accepting of the path others are on that may be different from our own. Do not judge, criticize, condemn, but rather let time and openness be our guide.)
The irony of this exercise is that my mother is the very person I want to call right now with whom to share these thoughts.