Our mother had an intuitive gift, as many mothers do. This 'gift' made itself known in many ways through-out her life. Near death at age 3 with a dangerously high fever, little Alberta laid in the dark bedroom. Her Irish mother Rose, who also had 'the gift', prayed fervently for her little girl in the next room. All at once, the toddler perceived the room to be filled with the most radiant light. The smell of roses filled the air. 'Mama, it's so bright in here, turn out the lights!' she cried. It was at that moment the fever broke, she came to and soon asked for an apple to eat. She informed her mother, she was going to become a nurse. That became her mission in life, and she began by nursing her dolls and the family dogs from that day forward. (In fact she was a nurse-educator for nearly 60 years) with a distinguished career.
The 'gift' manifested itself on a family vacation in San Francisco. On top of a hill, we got onto a cable car. One or two stops before our destination at the bottom of the hill, Mom insisted, 'Oh! Get off now! Get off! Hurry! I just don't know, but something bad is going to happen.' She hustled our elderly grandmother, and the rest of the family off. Everyone was confused, Dad was aggravated standing there with his tour guide books, surmising it must have been a ruse to get into the department store and shop at the perfume counter. By the time we prepared to exit the store, a few levels down at the bottom of the hill, you could hear sirens from all directions. A sales clerk told us the brakes had failed and the cable car crashed.
Because this is Mother's Day, I wanted to share one of her near death experiences, captured on a movie on her last Mother's Day in 2007, filmed by my late brother at the nursing home, and uploaded to YouTube: http://youtu.be/xJ-vKWgSVNQ
Mom died that Fall, and had several near death experiences, all quite fascinating. I believe these to be quite natural and to originate in certain areas of the brain. Whether you believe her story factually or not, the experience is through her own faith heritage and lens; I'm sure people of all traditions experience near-death through their own portal. Portal is the word for the 'tunnel' that she traveled, attested to by thousands of others. Mom was deeply afraid of death and dying, even though she had been a tremendous comfort to thousands in her long career. She was skeptical, having had her spiritual gifts tempered by orthodoxy, and questioned if it wasn't all just wishful thinking while still reading a broad range of literature, searching for answers within and outside the faith community, until her own near-death experiences toward the end. Several people I have had the blessing to be present with, died in awe, amazement, joy, and utter, deep peace; several spoke with family members who had passed during their last days, knew information unknown to any living folks present with them, and after their experiences, were unafraid.
Happy Mother's Day to all, whether it is this particular day or any day one chooses to recognize how wonderful Mothers are, and the blessed Motherhood of 'God', eternally creative, and everlastingly creating, birthing new life, bringing forth life from death, and originating all life forms-from the atomic/cellular to the cosmic. Considering the gift of life your mother gave to you, here is an exercise: 'In three short sentences, summarize your life story." from Remembering Your Story-A Guide to Spiritual Autobiography by Richard Morgan.
The Tuesdays at Trinity Lutheran Seminary series begins the first week of June with musical performances from several area groups. See http://www.tlsohio.edu/event-information#h-s-stompers for more details.
June 1st and 2nd, the Spirituality Network celebrates its anniversary with some outstanding workshops including Diana Butler Bass for the keynote address on the 1st, and "Christianity After Religion: Exploring the Future of Faith" on the 2nd. Visit http://www.spiritualitynetwork.org/events.html
Meditations for this post:
Carl Jung warned of an 'ambush' at midlife, if we are not prepared for the changes. He wrote, 'Instead of looking forward, one looks backward . . . one begins to take stock, to see how his (or her) life has developed up to this point. The real motivations are sought and the real discoveries are made . . . But these insights do not come to him (or her) easily; they are gained only through the severest shocks.' p 78 Remembering Your Story
'A mystic sees beyond the illusion of separateness into the intricate web of life in which all things are expressions of a single Whole. You can call this web God, the Tao, the Great Spirit, the Infinite Mystery, Mother or Father, but it can be known only as love.' p xv 7 Paths to God: The Ways of the Mystic by Joan Z. Borysenko, PhD.
'I like the expression 'resting in God.' When you pray with all your heart, the Holy Spirit is in you, and as you continue to pray, the Holy Spirit continues in you. You do not need to do anything else. As long as the Holy Spirit is there, everything is fine. You are resting in God, and God will work in you. For transformation to take place, you only need to allow the Holy Spirit to stay in you. The Holy Spirit is the energy of God that shines forth and shows you the way. . ." p 181 Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh