(pardon me while I chant omg omg omg and hyperventilate into a paper bag)
It’s my birthday. I’m having a birthday and eating sushi and getting wee gifts and thinking about the cake I’m not having, and my mother is dying. What exquisite juxtaposition! One life departing. Another girds her goddess loins for another fifty years of awesome.
Saying goodbye to Jane
I didn’t really know my mother — not her Real Self — until she got Alzheimer’s. But wow, what a fun lady she is! I had no idea. All her life she must have felt people were constantly judging her. She seemed scared. Repressed. Unhappy. But she changed. Became more herself. I took her to lunch one time, early on in the Alzheimer’s journey when my brother and I teamed up to clean her house of years of unfiled papers and the poop of seven cats, and she gave me such a look of mischievous glee. Like she had found the secret to life. I still see it when I close my eyes.
Jane lived the past two years in an assisted living facility in California. I’d call there and overhear her joking with the staff. One time she kept purposely annoying a lady who worked in the office where the phone was. “I”m going to get in trouble now!” Jane told me, laughing. And then she’d ask me for the fourth time that day what my weather was like and where did I live. Worlds get very small when you have Alzheimer’s. Like being inside a blanket fort.
My mother has cancer now too. It’s pretty bad. Her whole liver. And it probably spread there from somewhere else (maybe she has melanoma, like me?). Because her liver is failing, her kidneys are failing. A big cascade of organ failure. Dialysis and tubes. That’s not what she wanted, tubes. She told me that when I was on my knees scraping kitten poop off her carpet. No tubes. No vegetable, she said. My brother is there with her now, in the hospital. We both want her feeling comfortable above everything else. So no tubes, maybe. Maybe just hospice. Easing her way through to the rainbow bridge.
Last week I read this piece on how women can heal their mother-wounds by owning those wounds, stepping out of the martyr role, and claiming their power. I believe this is how we will heal our planet, by claiming our power as women and as men with a divine feminine aspect. The idea of healing my mother-wound and learning to mother myself stuck with me. I read this and felt into what it might be like to mother myself. I felt empowered. Like I could wash away generations of pain. Like I could finally feel held and rocked in a mother’s arms (my mom, though she tried, was emotionally absent). I felt like I could finally feel whole. Finally let myself feel whole.
I’m excited! I get to mother myself! With my mother dying I think I can finally award myself permission to take over. And I know a thing or two about being a mother. Life gives and life takes away. Balance, baby. One woman leaves and her daughter is truly born. Fifty years ago she gave me life for the first time. And now I feel her again, breathing life into me one last time, sending me the last of her life force to carry with me into the What Comes Next. Her death gives me life.
Through the birthday Moon Gate
Fifty years. Ever since my cancer diagnosis 9 months ago I’ve been in virtual Life Review mode. Not good. Heaps of judgments and suckiness and self ass-kickings. But today, my birthaversary (that doctors didn’t think I’d reach) I declare myself FREE. Today I walk through a gateway and on into the Other Side which I’m convinced is filled with Awesome. First day of the rest of my life and all that pip pip cheerio. Oh. Wanna know just how I plan to step into Awesometown?
The road to Awesometown
Big plans, baby!
1. Mindfulness meditation. I get forced downtime (coffee enemas, yo) every day anyway, so why not put it to work? Three or four times a day I close my eyes for 12 minutes and focus on my breath. Yee haw. The idea is that by focusing on the sensation of air going in and out of my nose without judging the buckets of stray thought-paths I follow every second or two and instead just return to the sensation of air going in and out of my nose, I will eventually I train my monkey mind to stop judging me. Yay. Fifty years of judging myself for every fucking little thing is enough, hey?
2. Shamanic journeying. I’m stepping up my spiritual practice. I’m so done with being in flux with my personal cosmology, so I’m taking it to my spirit guides and requesting help. Duh.
3. Therapy. I’m almost not cringing at typing that word — therapy — while hearing it uttered in my head in the voice of the Wicked Witch of the West. Therrrrrrrrapyyyyyy. But dammit. I want some support. Fix me. Time to get tools — a SUPER CAPE!!? — to claim my fucking power.
4. Demartini. This guy helps people heal deep shit by teaching them to find the balance in everything. Mmm, balance. I want me some of that.
5. Frankie says relax. I’m a knot of tension, apparently. Stiff as a board. So, multiple times a day I tell myself to unclench. Legs. Hands. Face. Belly. Wherever. Eventually my body will get the message (esp. when combined with #3 above, the body-centered Hakomi way) and FUCKING RELAX.
6. New healing plans and superheroes! I’m re-evaluating everything right now. Every piece of my healing protocol. I have a bone to pick with Fucker Bear. And when it shakes down I’ll be making some different choices. Gerson therapy never seemed exactly right. I love the idea of boosting my immune system and teaching my body to recognize cancer, so that’s the direction we are headed. Deets to follow. Annnd, I found a dermatologist who JUST SO HAPPENS is the melanoma research go-to guy in Seattle, and he’s interested in me and my methods, so I want him on my team. Yay.
Back to the birthday — this is how it’s going down
My Soulmate Kahuna has it all figured out. He knows I love surprises. There will be sushi, maybe. Shopping, maybe. The Japanese Garden, maybe, filled with blooming azaleas. Sitting at the water’s edge, maybe, listening to the waves of the Sound lapping the shore, and the cries of sea birds. Beauty, for sure. Loving? Oh yeah. I’m gonna feel loved, starting with Kahuna crooning softly, “Wake up, my love, it’s time to wake up…” I so love that man. The whole day will be a Love Talyaa day. I know how he operates. I am such a blessed woman.
I’ll also hear from my kids. I am so lucky. Text, phone, Skype. They’ll find me. Serena visits next week. Mother’s Day. I can’t wait.
Fifty years, people. Half a century. I am so excited about the next fifty. This is when it starts. Today I step through the Moon Gate that leads to my own true self, the self I had with me the whole time. I can’t wait to meet me.