Oma moved to North America when she was 46 years old. More than half of her life she lived in Germany; a time I know primarily through the stories that have been passed down. Nine years ago I purchased this Shambhala for Oma so that she may spend her sunset years close to me. In total she was able to enjoy it for over seven. It gave her the opportunity to get fit and trim like she was during her time at the summit, it gave her the opportunity to get active in the garden. It gave her the opportunity to organize her archives and library. It gave her the opportunity to give treatments. It gave her the opportunity to connect with the community. If gave her the opportunity to live in safety. It gave her the opportunity to have a little house in the woods that she always dreamed of. Finally it gave her the opportunity to "be a human being not a human doing."

A year ago last night mother departed this world. To all physical appearances she just stopped breathing as her body shut down. However I am confident that her essence, her higher self, simply found another vessel to manifest its love. So to celebrate the anniversary of her transition I sat at her Altar, lit some candles and read some passages out of her decree book. Then I leaned back and we had a chat. 

Many years ago I remember mother telling a story about a German Chancellor who was asked by the media about his opinion on some national issue. After the chancellor answered the question a reporter protested: "But chancellor this is the exact opposite of what you proposed three years ago!" to which the chancellor replied: "That is correct, and a good thing too, for it shows that I have actually learned something over the past three years."

If I had it all to do over again would I do some things differently? You bet I would. But like mother undertook to do throughout her life, I did the best with the knowledge I had at the time. And now it is done. All here at Oma's cottage has remained the same since Oma left her body. I had told myself and others that I was keeping it that way so I could write more effectively, so that the memories would be kept fresh. In fact I kept it that way because I was just not ready to change it. I was not ready to fully accept Oma's departure. I was not ready to accept that all happened exactly as it was planned. 

A couple of night ago Laura and I were comparing the two last pictures taken of each of us sitting with Oma. Although they were taken almost three months apart the gaze in Oma's eyes was the same. To us it felt as if she was looking at rainbows, thinking about the many times our lives have merged. When Laura and I go to sleep we always plan to meet on cloud nine so we can go on our nightly adventures together. This night we went to sleep planning to go see Oma in the temples as well. 

There she was, sleeping in a bedroom two doors removed from the main activity of the house. When I entered she was awake. I knelt beside her bed and stroked her head. How wonderful that you came back, I said to her. She smiled but her thoughts were already on her next adventure. She wanted to get up. I told her that she would have to get dressed before she could go out to see everyone. "What about this night gown?" she protested. So we just threw a housecoat on her and off she ran. The door was a little challenge for her as she could not reach the high door latch. Oma was very short in that space- time, in fact I'm not certain if she was an aged woman or a little girl. I helped her with the door and she ran through. Then I called Birgit over and showed her the door, explaining that we would have to do something so mother doesn't lock herself in. Just then Gaby joined us and said, "oh she can reach it, just not with her right arm."

How wonderful to be able to connect on another plane like that. Mother always reminded us that "separation is the illusion." Like learning about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly or the genesis of the earth, like contemplating the intelligence of the porpoise or the speed of light, I find that hypothesizing about the purpose and function of life within the cosmos enriches my experience as a human being. 

Along with honoring the memory of Oma, exploring the relationship between body and soul will be at the main thread of of my books since it has long been a passion of mine. However honoring mother's life is not just about her last year. Although it has been fascinating to help her prepare for that special transition it was just the last leg of her journey. 

It is therefore now time to for me to move into the future. So instead of this day being one of sorrow, like many have been over the last year, I find the joy that I experienced on the day of her departure returning. Instead of the sadness of saying good bye, its more of a gladness at saying hello. Hello to a new life stream, a new set of adventures, a new beginning for both her and I, knowing in my heart that what has gone before was divine and complete. 

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