This morning I received an email from a friend who lives 1200 or so miles away. We met a little more than a year ago in the midst of one of the most spiritually rich experiences of my 52 years. I was on a flight that I knew would come someday and for which I had been actively preparing myself for 6 months. My Beloved mother had just taken flight herself and I was enroute from her funeral which I had officiated. A grab bag of emotions accompanied me. Good thing I didn’t need to check that one at the gate since it would have taken up the entire compartment on the plane. As I was sitting in my comfy seat, a book on my lap, called Glad No Matter What, by SARK (about living in the face of loss and grief), a red haired, energetic flight attendant walked by and enthusiastically shared “Oh, I love SARK!” What are the chances, that at that moment, I should happen to have the book, spine up, visible as the gem named Jewelee laughed on by? In my life, only 100%, since I tend to attract miraculous occurrences. I brought the book back to her in the galley and she perused it. I told her why I was on the plane and her tears blended with mine. She too had lost a parent (her father), 11 years earlier, if memory serves and she was also honoring the birthday of a friend who had passed 3 years before. I had been telling her about the ‘Mom Miracles’ that had occurred that weekend, including many involving butterflies, since my mother had told me that after she died, she would come back and visit as a butterfly. Jewlee smiled, hitched up her skirt and showed me a tattoo she had recently acquired to remember her friend….a dragonfly, not a butterfly…in the family…a cousin, perhaps. We shared some laughter, she and I spoke throughout the flight, she became a highlight of a chapter in my book and we have remained friends. A few weeks ago, she came up from West Palm to Philly, where she had grown up, to pick up her ‘Gran’, as she lovingly calls her, to bring her to warmer climes for the winter. We had the joy of a reunion and besides the wonderful gift of her friendship, she gave me a gorgeous scarf, emblazoned with rainbow colored butterflies. When I wear it (often), it is like snuggling into a ‘Jewelee Hug’. I treasure it and her.
So, back to the email….she was responding to something I had just written about saying goodbye to those we love who have, as I euphemistically refer to it ‘left the building’. Here was her message: “the fact that you can deliver a hug from thousands of miles away, always makes me feel safer…thank you for being you….and sharing your love and life experiences with all of us…our world is a better place because of the love you share!” I smiled as I read it, partly because it felt like such a gift and partly because I was having similar thoughts yesterday as I was sending prayers to a friend whose father is in the ICU, as she is saying her farewells to him. Having been there, 3 times (mother, father and husband over the past 13 years), I recall how precious was the love and support of friends.
This was my response to her: ” I was thinking that yesterday that the people in my life (regardless of distance) help me feel safer too and that in the midst of life stuff happening, I know I will always get through it because they provide a haven for my heart.” A haven for our hearts…I grok that this is why we are here on the planet. This is why we connect with kindred spirits in the midst of both joyful and oy-full circumstances. If we allow for it, our tender and resilient hearts can be cradled, so that we can continue on, each being a greater force for good in the world. Every day, I encounter people who feel lonely and isolated, because they have forgotten that truth. I call it ‘spiritual amnesia’ and I endeavor to remind them every day, that they are never completely alone, but instead, when joined with other hearts….All One.
http://youtu.be/4xjPODksI08 One Love (Bob Marley) performed by Playing For Change
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