This picture is from a card I just came across that my mama gave me in 2001 when I was getting ready to take off for the fulltime RVing lifestyle. It’s hard to believe that was 14 years ago.
And in some ways it’s hard to believe it’s been a year today since my mama left this earthly life.
In another sense, during the last years of her life here, I still often said that I missed my mama even when we were in the same room.
Once her health deteriorated to the extent that she could no longer live on her own, once her memory was so bad she couldn’t remember what I had just said five minutes before, in my mind the mama that I still needed was no longer there.
I’ve felt my share of guilt and regret over things I wish I would have done better in regards to my mom. I was not always patient and sometimes I felt like such a fake when I would do things to help her and yet resented the fact that I was having to do them. I’m not proud of myself for that selfishness.
There were times I felt so lost and confused and all I wanted was my mama to come take me in her arms and comfort me – and yet at that point she was the reason I needed comfort. I feel that way today. Mama, can you come help me get over your being gone?
But despite everything, I know that she really knew how much I loved her and I am thankful for our relationship that survived all the teenage angst and rebellion and my taking off to travel fulltime in my RV in 2001. When I did that, I think she felt I had abandoned her and at first she was pretty mad about it. When I wrote about the conflicts in my own mind about that decision and her feelings about it in my journal in The Long Story, I quoted one of my favorite books at the time:
“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen … there will be something solid for us to stand on, or we will be taught to fly.”
It was that reference she talked about in what she wrote inside this eagle card:
I saw this card and I thought about what you said in your letter about being taught to fly. Well that eagle was once a little baby and its mother kicked him out of the nest and he flew and look at the heights he reached. So, like the mother eagle, I’m kicking you out and setting you free to reach for the stars. Catch one for me. I’ll be waiting.
I love you,
I think another message my mom has for me now comes from the messages related to the symbolism of the eagle from my Medicine Cards:
“If Eagle has come out of the cards today, the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane in your life. Are there places in your soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need a boost? Eagle reminds you to broaden your sense of self beyond what is currently visible in your life.
Eagle’s message is that you may need to face and move through your fear of the unknown, knowing that you will be supported by the breath of the Great Spirit. Feed your body and your soul. Eagle brings illumination to any problem you may have.
On the contrary, Eagle may be warning you that you have forgotten your connectedness with the Great Spirit. Eagle may be telling you to seek higher ground so that you can take a bird’s eye view, so to speak, of your life. If you feel your “wings are clipped,” find a way to replenish your spiritual energy: be alone in a vision quest or even just in your own home. Reflecting on your life and taking time away is the way of the eagle, for in experiencing aloneness, you experience Spirit.”
All of these messages and warnings certainly apply to me today as I deal with more fear, uncertainty and feeling disconnected from Spirit than I did back then. I feel the sense of being an orphan with both my parents gone. Even if in the broadest sense, deep in my soul, I know what’s real and I am as connected to the Universe as I’ve ever been, I don’t always feel that certainty or operate from that connection.
Soon after her death, I wrote about it in Memories of My Mama and shared another card she gave me around that same time about her being my guardian angel:
Listen closely to the winds,
and hear the gentle whisper
of an angel’s wings in flight.
Look far into the sky
and see the shimmering stardust left behind.
Close your eyes,
clear your thoughts,
and feel the love of your very own,
very real, guardian angel.
I still miss my mama and I try to take comfort today in her watching over me today and always and that she is waiting for me beyond the stars.