Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Be honest and clear.
My mother was a good mother. She cared and did her best. She has golden yellow hair, which was not her natural colour. She was a great cook, lots of butter type of cook. She loved to play, laugh and play jokes.
One April fools, she snuck into all of our bedrooms (I have two siblings) and changed the alarm clocks so they were fast. She got up really early for this. When the time was right she barged into our rooms screaming that we are late for school, we have to move and quick. She sold it, we were all up and at it, dressed faster then normal. When my siblings and I made it to the kitchen there where pancakes, sausages, milkshakes, whip cream and a big sign saying April Fools.
I wasn't the best joke ever but it was perfect and it was my mother's love.
Her laughter and love kept us all sane.
One day I remember she called us all to her bedroom. I must have been 14. She told us that she had found a lump in her breast and that doctors needed to do more tests. This was before I or most people really talked about Cancer. I had no idea what it meant, so i carried on watching TV or whatever. It wasn't till a few weeks later that i found my mother crying at the kitchen table, shaking. It was just the two of us and I did not know what to do. So I did what she would do and rubbed her head telling her " I love your pertend golden hair". She laughed, looked up at me with makeup everywhere and looked into my eyes some fierce.
"Kevin, listen up. I love you, I always will, no matter what happens. You have such deep penetrating eyes. Keep looking, keep searching"
Turned out she had been diagnosed with cancer. I dont remember the next few weeks. I still had no idea what cancer meant.
Over the next 3 years Mom lost her golden hair. Was in and out of hospitals. I had to inject her a few times with needles. She carried around 15 pill bottles. Just before the end of the battle she had adopted an oxygen tank, a calm look on her face and a few gifts for us all.
My mother had realized that through her battle with cancer that she was struggling mightily to find support. Not that there was no support, just that it was tough to find. When you are sick you dont want to think about having people over to your house, or renting a church basement for a night of sharing with others who are sick. You want a comfy couch, a warm room and a place to go and you dont want to think about cleaning up.
So she dreamed up Hearth Place.
Hearth Place is a cancer coping center, where people can come and share, heal together, research learn, get suited up for a wig, sit on a comfy chair and rest. My mother never got to see Hearth Place. She died before it got off the ground. She did make sure that it was a reality. All donations from her funeral went to Hearth Place, thus seeding the cost of starting it.
She died on July 1st 1995. He last words to me where
"Kevin never tell lies and always follow your heart"
After a few broken years of not knowing what to do, I realised the only thing I could do was to listen to my mother and follow what she said. So I packed a bag, headed out over the great Canadian landscape and stuck out my thumb in search of answers. Not even thinking about Hearth Place for over 10 years.
I spent years travelling, meeting healers, thinkers, researchers, doctors, survivors, death bed dwellers and more. I read every book, every website I could get my eyes on. I asked questions, experimented on myself. I healed deeply. I look deep, really deep within. I turned over every stone, I pursued every possibility I could. Along the way asking....
"Why did my mother have to die?"
"Why did she get cancer?"
"Why am I so lost?"
I searched with no avail. Dead ends everywhere....
It wasn't till I started to ask the right questions that answers started to come.
I had to clean out my way of thinking. The answers where wrong so i had to change the question.
I eventually asked.....
"How do I need to heal my relationship with death?"
"How can I honor the gifts that cancer has bestowed upon my life?"
"How do I stand in my power?"
It all seemed to move much easier when I shifted perspective. I no longer was looking outside of myself for answers. I realized that I had the answers in my all along.
My mother did not have to die.... she did die. We all die. No biggie. I can still love and honor her. I can still talk to her. I can still stand beside her.
My mother did not get cancer. That was just part of her life path. Like everything in my life is part of my path. I honor all life has given me by being grateful.
I was never lost. I was scared. I always had my own heart. I always had myself. I was always whole. I can choose to stand in my power at any time.
Phew! That was a journey. Took 15 years of my life to understand these things. Great deep teachings. Good medicine.
So now what? What do I do with this gift of insight? How do I share it?
I called up Hearth Place,
"Can I offer a workshop in Shamanic Journeying?" (I chose this as it was the most powerful single tool in my personal healing.)
"Sure come on down."
And I did.... Oh how We did... tears fill my eyes as I write this. Joy spills out of my heart. Myself, along with 24 other people sat in a room, laughed, cried, drummed, shared, danced, and journeyed. Time was made to honor my mother. Safety was kept. The circle we sat in was held tightly and with peaceful intention.
Love was shared.
I went from an angry boy, having lost his mother. To a peaceful man having found his mother nestled comfortably in this little community of brave souls.
Where she belongs.