I haven’t posted for a couple months – life gets very full with a family of five! We all seem to be going separate directions these days, but part of me really enjoys all the activity and seeing three children grow and explore their potential is fun.
Many friends my age are watching their children grow up and leave home, and most are also watching their parents grow old and leave this life. A child’s independence is a joyful challenge; an elderly parent’s increasing dependence and passing can be a sad one.
My daughter and I recently visited my mother, who lives in the Napa Valley, near my sister and her family. My father passed away over 10 years ago and my mother has managed to live a life of joyful independence and adventure, despite her loneliness. However, she fell and suffered a broken pelvis over 5 months ago and has had a difficult and painful recovery. She was finally ready to transition back to her own home, after months under my sister’s loving care, and my daughter and I had the pleasure of being there.
Our days were filled with organizing and preparing her two-level condominium so everything was accessible and safe for her to manage alone. My siblings were counting on me to make an honest evaluation of her ability to handle things, so I scrutinized her every move. She couldn’t navigate the stairs, take a shower or lift a frying pan without me watching. She took my supervision good-naturedly because she was so happy to be feeling better.
It’s natural to think of when she leaves this body and when we will not be able to visit and chat. But instead of feeling sad, I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be her daughter.
I walked to a lovely pioneer cemetery a few times during my visit and was able meditate there late one afternoon. One could get melancholy reading the headstones and reflecting on all those people long forgotten. But one of the deep blessings of the teachings of Yogananda is the expansive view one gets of life.
I thought of all those souls represented on those gravestones, and I know that after playing through the life of a California pioneer, they all moved on to new adventures and new lessons that would one day lead them home to freedom in spirit. And I thought of my mother and my children – they too, will move on to new roles and new lessons, and I was so grateful to understand.
The life we have is not to be spent carelessly, it should be treasured and celebrated with spiritual adventuresomeness. But it is good to remind ourselves and our children of our true identity as immortal spirit, deathless, changeless and free.
In divine friendship,