My Daughter’s Mother… Dotties Story (An Adoption Story continued)

My daughter’s mother passed away this weekend. She stepped out of her cancer riddled body and moved beyond the veil. She moved from the life of pain, she was living, into the peace of the world beyond this one. Her life seemed so short; she was much too young, but none of us get to decide the hour or time of our passing. Does it seem weird to you that I say my daughter’s mother? I suppose it might. If you read my earlier blog, A Story of Adoption… My Story, it is easier to understand why I say this.

Let me tell you a little about my daughter’s mother. She had a smile that was infectious.  It was so infectious it made you wanted to smile and laugh right along with her when she did. She was fun too! Never taking life too seriously. When I was young, long before any of my daughters where around, her husband (at that time) raced cars and I was part of the pit crew. One time, the car got banged up that it needed some metal repaired on the fender.  Dottie and I riveted a new piece of metal to car. Then we painted it to look like a bandaid, all the while laughing and joking about our little addition.

There were countless summer bonfires out at her house. It was a time in my life when I was carefree and my responsibilities were few. My biggest “to do” was to make it home in time for my curfew. She was “that” adult who listened to me and took me serious, when so many others dismissed me or told me how I was feeling, was wrong. She helped me see myself as important.

Today, I sometime speak to high school children about adoption as an option for unplanned pregnancies. As part of these talks my daughter provided a recording of what the experience was like for her. Her mother, Dottie, wrote a letter. I would like to share some of her words with you.

When she described the time, right after this beautiful little soul was born, she said; “They called me in and the mother was holding the baby. I was just dying to see what she looked like and she (the Mother) put her arms out to me with the baby; to give her to me. The baby was crying and crying and I said isn’t that beautiful? The sounds of a baby crying. They (the Mother) shake their head no. I’m holding the baby and the baby stops crying and I started crying. I did ask the Mom if this is what she really wanted to do, and she said yes. This baby girl was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. She had so much hair and beautiful coloring and every finger and toe was there; she was just perfect to me. This Mom had produced the most beautiful angel I had ever seen; there was so much love between this baby and I. I could feel it.”

Dottie always let me and my family be part of her angle’s life. Her reasoning was simple, beautiful, and loving. “I cannot describe the love that I have for the Mom and Dad that gave up their rights to give me that child.  That Mom gave me the greatest gift you could give to anyone that cannot have a child. She (Mom) did not give this beautiful child because she did not love her; she gave her to me because she did love her and wanted her to have a good life with a loving Mother and Dad. Time went on, (the baby’s) Mom would come out and see the baby; I never stop her from doing that. That was okay with me because that baby was a part of her life too. I never stopped the baby from having any contact the Mom’s side of the family. Great Grandma and Great Grandpa just adored her. At the time, I was thinking that one day the baby would know she was adopted. So this would make it easier for her, because she would already know that side of the family”.

There was so much love in Dottie. She was so unselfish in allowing my family and I access to know and love this child. She sent pictures often. Dottie and I would have long conversations where she kept me up to date as to what was going on with this daughter, we shared, as she grew. As she grew into adulthood, these conversations decreased and then finally stopped. I will miss those conversations. Dottie always welcomed me, my visits, and my involvement. I see Leeah as daughter to both of us but I see Dottie as her mother. She is the person who did the work of being a mother. Staying up when Leeah was sick, going to her games, concerts, award ceremonies, disciplining her, and celebrating with this girl as she grew. I was only watching from the wings, happy that there could be so much love for her.

No mother/daughter relationship is perfect and Dottie and Leeah have had their differences through the years. It is those we love the most, who can make us the most angry. Fortunately,  love can heal all wounds in time. Dottie always shared love with me. As I kissed her cheek that last time and said farewell; I felt that her stepping out of this world would leave a hole, an emptiness, a void. May you be surrounded by peace and filled with love in the place behind the veil, Dottie. Thank you for raising the daughter I was not able too. I love you. I miss you.

I would like to conclude this blog with Dottie’s own words about having adopted the daughter we shared, “I have had nothing but joy, love, and happiness. What I have seen since she’s been growing up; she is so much like her mother and looks like her mother and has the same beautiful qualities as her mother: compassionate, giving, logical, and sympathetic to people’s needs. …So thank you too Leeah’s Mom for this gift from God to me.  I know you loved her then, you loved her as she was grown up, and love her now. That makes us all good Moms.”

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find peace in all of your relationships and your decisions, as if by magic.

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When the Last Interaction Is Not Positive

One of my friends died today. Our last conversation keeps repeating in my head. It was not a happy conversation. Would I have delivered the same message if I knew his days were numbered? Would I have done it in the same way?
I do not believe that I am an unkind person. I am, however, direct and even blunt. I will deliver the messages that others shy away from. This was the way this conversation went. I was trying to help my friend understand how others perceived him. I feel none of us truly knows how we are being perceived unless someone is brave enough to tell us. This was my intention in my last interaction with this friend. I wanted to give the gift of honesty. I wanted to help him grow and be a better version of himself. It did not go well. I had thought he had received my words with openness and was taking some time to process. When I learned of his death, I also learned that he had un-friended me on Facebook. Apparently I had hurt him. This was never my intention. Many people have un-friended and re-friended me over the years. I don’t let it bother me, most of the time. I do, however, feel bad that this interaction had caused enough pain that he no longer wanted me to show up in his news feed.
Sure, they say, “truth hurts”. That doesn’t help me feel any better about it. I wanted to help him become a better version of himself. Instead, I now have the opportunity to become a better version of myself. If I had known his days were numbered would I still have delivered the message in the same way? Would I have felt the message was important to share? What is the cost of personal growth? Both his and mine. Did it really matter? I am left to wrestle with these questions as I come to terms that my friend has transitioned into another way of being. What would he tell me now that he has access to the wisdom on the other side?

Regret is… an unavoidable result of any loss,
for in loss we lose the tomorrow that we needed
to make right our yesterday or today
~ Gerald Lawson Sitter

How would I feel if someone was brave enough to share with me how I was being perceived? People have from time to time, and I welcomed the information. Sometime it throws you off for a minute as you have to integrate the message that they shared. What have I learned? To be as kind as possible always. Yes. To not share the truth? No. I will still share insights with others. I still want others to share insights with me.
To my friend – “Peace, Love, and a smooth transition to the other side. Please forgive me for causing you pain. It was not my intention to hurt you. Thank you for being my friend in this lifetime. Safe journeys”.

What are your thoughts? Was I wrong? Have you had similar experiences?

Than you for reading my blog today. May your friendships be open and help you grow.

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Energetic Residue

Yesterday’s adventure was an amble through a historic park. When I am in Philadelphia for work I love to go to Valley Forge National Historic Park. It is a large beautifully wooded park, rich with history. During the revolutionary war George Washington and his troops camped there from 1777-1778. According to Wikipedia over 2500 soldiers died in the encampment from starvation/malnutrition, disease, and exposure. It seems like such a contrast that someplace so beautiful could have such tragedy linked to it. Can we feel the energy of those lost lives? What about other historic places; do they carry residue of past acts?
I have always loved going to Valley Forge. The woods and gently rolling hills make for a beautiful back drop for a walk or a run. Even sitting at one of the multiple picnic tables and eating supper has brought me peace at the end of a busy day. Last night I went into the park from a different direction. Because of this I found myself in a different part of the park that I had not wandered before. I happened upon Washington Memorial Chapel. This Chapel was started in 1903 to commemorate the Continental Army and George Washington. The trees leaves were reflective of a camp fire with their autumn colors. I saw few visitors while I wandered the grounds. There is a large Cemetery behind the Chapel. Some of the graves are older but many recently departed rest there as well. As I was wondering amongst the tombstones, I spooked 3 bucks. Quite honestly when they spooked, so did I. I didn’t realize they were there until they bolted. Their sudden movement was in such opposition to the tranquil setting.
There seemed to be more of a feeling of sorrow in this part of the park. So different from what I had felt in the park before. Recently my husband and I traveled to Amsterdam. While we were there we visited the house where Anne Frank and her family hid during WWII. The sorrow in that place was crushing. I do not know if that sorrowful energy is from the people who hid there or from the multiple visitors that flock there daily. I was also blessed to be able to visit Stonehenge on the same trip. This historic site is located inside of a massive ancient graveyard. It is surrounded by burial mounds for some distance on all sides. The energy here is very soft and has no feeling of sorrow. Why is that? Is it because it is so old and all the old attachment has faded away. Is it because visitors come with an attitude of curiosity and awe? Or perhaps our ancestors saw death differently than we do.
The energy of a place can have such an impact on our experience while we are there. If we are not aware of our sensitivities to left over energy we could potentially take on those emotions as if they were ours. What are your thoughts about energy signatures? Have you felt this in the past?

What comes after the last breath?

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Have you wondered what happens when we die? As a hospice nurse I have spent a lot of time thinking about death. I have been with many people as they take their last breath. I have read books about what comes next. I also have had experiences that have lead me to have suspicions about what comes next.

My grandfather had a near death experience. His heart stopped. The medical team worked quickly to revive him. A call went out to my grandmother in the middle of the night, to let her know she should come and be with her husband immediately. While all of this action transpired my grandfather said he floated peacefully toward the light. He described the same light others have talked about. He described a feeling of utter peace. To my grandmother’s dismay, he said he didn’t want to come back from it.

I have been with many people as they have taken their last breaths. I believe that we do not go alone. I have seen them having conversations with someone/something that I can not see in the room. I have seen them looking up at the corners of the ceiling. I like to believe they are seeing angels. I have heard them describe visits from people who have died before them. I have seen them reach out, as if to someone, just before they take their last breath. I have even seen them petting a long gone pooch who I do not see in the room, but they believe to be there.

I have read a couple books about what comes next. They are not your typical heaven or hell stories. Letters from the Afterlife by Elsa Barker tells the story of a woman who started to get messages from the other side. This book was written in 1914 and is a very interesting read. Journey of the Souls by Michale Newton is another interesting read. Michael is PH.D. counselor and hypnotherapist. He, accidentally at first, regressed people to the time between their lives. The book is full of case studies and Michael’s theories of what happens to us when we leave our body. Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani is on my list of books to read. This is a book about a woman with terminal cancer and her near death and ultimate healing experience.

I have had past life regressions done as a healing modality. From the experience I had during the regressions, I do believe the soul moves from lifetime to lifetime. I have met people who, although they are strangers in this lifetime, I know on a soul level. Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister is one such person. Our connection was fast upon meeting and beyond any other explanation. We have surely been sisters in other lifetimes.

I believe in the eternal nature of the soul. I believe from things I have experienced, the people I have been with as their souls have slipped out of their bodies, and books I have read, that this earthly journey is not the end of us. I believe it is a part of our course. I believe it is a part of the experience and the lessons. I do not truly know what comes next. What do you believe comes next? Do you believe in reincarnation? I am interested to hear your thoughts.