It’s been an interesting time in my life. After caring for my ailing 89-year old mother for the last couple of years, I witnessed her last breath on this side of life in October. I’m reminded that grief has many layers, and some of those layers can’t easily be overridden by my very strong spiritual beliefs that all is well and nothing, ever, is out of place or before its perfect time – including death. Some layers just need to be felt for what they are – sadness and longing – and experienced as such. These things can neither be rushed nor avoided – just accepted as remnants of a life well lived and a love that can’t be measured in human terms. I feel my mother all around me – at times more deeply and more accessible than others, but always somewhere within reach, to whatever degree I’m able to reach for it.
They say that with every door that closes a new door opens, and this was the experience last week with the birth of my first great-niece, Ila – my mother’s first great grandchild. Mom knew about this new life before she died, and a single white rose was placed in her hands to symbolize this eagerly awaited miracle – one that she wouldn’t live to meet, at least on this side of the thin veil.
Ila is magic. Pure magic. She arrived with eyes wide open – fresh from the other side – her infinite soul fully and bravely available to the life that is Divinely laid out before her to experience. I wonder who she will be and what she will add to the collective tapestry. I wonder what place I will have in her journey and I’m honored that she chose to include me in her family tribe. I look forward to a lifetime of Aunt Beth images that will proudly document her time here, and I suspect that this is the place I will have in her life. Who knows – maybe I’ll even get to teach her a bad habit or two …
As we all stared at her flawless features just hours after she arrived we wondered about the tiny cleft that no one claimed responsibility for, and then I remembered that it was my mother’s cleft – a feature I always loved on a face I’ve known my whole life.
My mother lives on in this tiny beauty, sweet Ila.
Welcome to the world little one. How honored we are that you’re here. Live fully precious girl, and know that love surrounds you as you go.