Cracking Open My Heart

My mother’s brain cancer seems to be progressing rapidly since we returned from our trip to Washington State. I took her to Washington to see her oldest friend. They had a wonderful visit. I then picked her up and took her on a trip around the Olympic Peninsula for a few days. I hadn’t been on a vacation with my mother since I was 14 and we backpacked into Big Sur on the California Coast. We had a great time being in nature and seeing the incredible beauty of the mountains, lakes, rain forest, lavender farms and beaches there. My mom was in good spirits and enjoyed herself.

Since returning to Sedona she has begun to decline. She is less engaged with the world and rarely wants to leave her room. She has developed a great love for Coffee Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream and potato chips which she eats while listen to CDs of Ekhart Tolle and Adyashanti. She still has a good appetite and for the most part eats healthfully.

I find myself walking the line between giving her what she wants and encouraging her to do what I think is good for her. My good friend, Jim, mentioned to her a few days ago that he has an electric key board and that he could bring it over and teach her to play the piano. She was excited by the idea. So yesterday, we took her up to his place in Oak Creek Canyon and got the key board. Last night, she began her first lesson. It was great to see her interested in learning something new.

Lately, I have become aware of the amount of stress I am dealing with in this situation. Watching her life force energy stating to wane has been a challenge. This morning I was listening to Adyashanti talk about the difference between courage and fearlessness. Courage is doing something in the face of fear. I have been practicing courage and it is exhausting work. Now, I am ready to face my fear and surrender fully into each moment. Fearlessness is just allowing everything to be as it is without wanting or needing to change it.

I feel deep gratitude for this opportunity to be with my mother as she approaches her transformation from being in form to being formless. It is allowing me to see where I hold on, where I contract and where I resist. She is at peace and enjoying each moment. Watching her, caring for her and loving her is a wonderful gift that is cracking open my heart in a new way.