I honestly don't know how to begin or really why share what I am being asked to share.
All of our lives are punctuated by moments that shape them. They can be tragic, simple, moving, courageous and a myriad of other adverbs. Having added shamanism to my modalities I truly believe that it is through releasing our stories that great healing and spiritual communion takes place. I also know that the human species learns through stories that are shared. My dilemma is about sharing one particular personal story.
I am currently taking a writing intensive course to help push into the world a story I penned several years ago. Stories need to be written and if they only touch one person it has accomplished its purpose. I get that. What is happening is a personal story is surfacing, one I verbally share when the need arises. It is a subject that has been written many times by other authors. I personally am not in need of telling the story, yet the story keeps asking to be written.
I am adding a disclaimer here - Please NO sympathy... just be with this raw and naked story.
The Matrix of the Heart -
May 4, 1999 was like no other day. It was a day of reckoning, not just for me it would also be for everyone who had ever come in contact with me. It did start unusual but not glaringly unusual. I am getting ahead of myself so let me start over.
Once upon a time there lived a very beautiful, stubborn, independent young woman. Oh she thought she understood the cruelty of the world and how to traverse through it so as not to get harmed. Little did she know that soon her life would ask even more. Into her life would come a screaming, demanding, carefree loving creature that would one day break her heart.
But before that happened there was much to take place.
Yes you guessed it I am describing the younger me. I really believed that I knew how to traverse the world, the world that had given me years of pain, confusion, and isolation during a time when most young women were trying on new dresses, new boyfriends, and new identities. As soon as high school was over I leapt at the chance to get as far away from home, friends, and family to strike out on my own. I succeeded by arriving in Albuquerque to start what I thought was to be a new life. The new start lasted 2 years before all the pain that had been buried surfaced in the form of drugs and alcohol leading to the departure from New Mexico and the return to my beginnings. Stubbornly I refused to seek help and once again traversed the highways for a new beginning. Thank god I had a magnificent guardian angel that tweaked my trail to recovery. Leaving the bar scene behind literally, I found employment in banking taking me to an environment that required I sober up. I excelled at the banking craft, found a wonderful man, and started to clear the fog from my eyes. As so often happens moments come forward that forever alter our lives.
One lovely winter day, as I stood in the dressing room with my mother, I made a remark on some physical changes I was experiencing. My mother never even blinked. Two months later I knew without a shadow of doubt what those physical changes meant. Yep you guessed it.
Before my son was born his father in the quiet of the night left me with the excuse he had not asked for this right now. I cried for 3 nights exactly, begging to not be pregnant then quietly put his picture away and assumed the position of single mother. I struggled to pay the rent and panicked over telling my boss I was pregnant. Telling my parents was scary but nothing like telling a boss who held the ability to fire me. This was pre-FMLA, not so long ago they could fire you for being single and pregnant. I carried on. It was a time of reflection, determination, and a strange connection was building deep within me.
Oh I remember the day he was born! I adored this bundle. The hushed whispers weren't hushed enough. I heard the remarks of being an unwed mother. I felt the judgment. I also firmly told the nurses if one more person asked me if I was going to give him up for adoption I would rip their heads off. It was at that point that I finally was able to hold my son, not a couple of hours later but 6 hours later. He was beautiful!! He spoke to me and whispered thanks. Together we walked out into the world ready to face anything it could serve us.
The first 5 months were pure hell. He had colic and would not sleep. I had a job that required I show up rested or once again they could fire me. His father reappeared asking to see his son, apologized, and then broached the subject of his return. I agreed, said my peace and he became the nanny until he went overseas. Stories could be told of those months, funny stories but those are his stories not mine to share. His father stayed 18 months and once again my son and I were alone.
We spent the next 4 years alone together. It was not all ice cream and cake. I wasn’t particularly the Martha Stewart of Motherhood. I loved him and parented the best I knew how. We giggled, we cried, we yelled, a lot of yelling, we moved, we talked, we read, we lived and knew each other like no one else knew us. Again changed entered our life.
Thinking that we needed to add a father into the dynamics I remarried. We welcomed him and his children into our life. This was a whole other ball game, a game that really needed help. It lasted for 9 years until finally I came home and called it quits. I left because my son was changing from a caring, loving boy into a bigoted, uncaring robot. I was responsible for instilling love and care into him and could not stand by as a witness to what he was becoming.
We left in a cloud of destruction. It was a very nasty time that blew up any false images I had been hanging on to about myself. It was the moment we had both been marking time for.
My son and I spent the next 5 years reconnecting and growing. They were times of mud slinging, blaming, crying, and a return to home. This time was so welcomed by us both! We could breath once again. I left behind everything I thought was true about myself. I walked straight into a spiritual communion with my soul. My son walked right beside me discovering who he truly was and what all this had been about.
For the first time without all the baggage, I watched my son excel and become this incredibly wise man. We would have deep spiritual discussions of why, how, what, and just because. He mirrored to me how my ego would interfere with my perceptions. He taught me how words could change realities and he helped clarified for us why we danced this dance. I remember having a discussion with him about soul mates and arguing the difference between soul mates and soul partners. He said to me, “these are just words and labeling used by us to remain in the old paradigm. There is no difference between the words. Every person you come into contact is your soul mate/partner. If we choose, these interactions will offer a deep intimacy. We get confused and think the intimacy we feel with a soul mate should lead to sex because sex has been our tool to this intimacy. The common form of sex, the way we use it, is the ego’s use of illusion and deception.’ And his favorite, ‘get over yourself, there are a billion other you’s out there struggling with the same questions, believing the same illusions’.
I loved those nights of deep discussion and sharing. I relaxed the mother role, welcomed him into a new relationship of being the adult I had seen he would one day become and mentored him as he stepped into his dreams.
Together we woke to a morning that would forever punctuate our lives. It was a normal early day in May but it wasn’t completely normal. He struggled with waking up and starting his day. My appointments for the day had changed twice before 9am.
The night before we had stayed up late just chatting. The conversation found itself heading into a baring of our souls to each other. I apologized to him for not being the mother who could go a day without yelling and keeping his younger years stable. I told him I was so very proud of him and that the man he was would be an incredible husband and father. I laughed with him about my sometimes over-the-top stubborn insistence on respecting all women and fighting the good fight. I told him I loved him the minute I found out I was pregnant through all the years and especially now. He told me he understood I did the best I could and that he always knew that I would be there for him. He told me he loved me. I gave him my blessing to follow his own drummer. We finished the night with a hug and kiss.
Having this memory of that night would support me through the days and years to come.
At 10:30am on May 4, 1999 I would receive a call that would insure I would never remain the same. I could recite to you the call, the drive, the scene but I don’t want your sympathy. What I want is to share with you how the matrix of the heart works. I admit it has taken me many paragraphs to get to this part. The words have been condensed considering they cover 21 years. I wanted to show the pattern of our life together. The pattern that can never be undone nor redone. They are years that brought my son and I to a departure. A departure I would not wish on anyone. It was divinely orchestrated and held wisdom of the ages, deep eternal love, and required me to truly become who I really am.
The Matrix of the Heart is how I survived my son’s death. Yes, at first it was survival. I hated everyone who had a child. I hated myself for being such a shitty mom. I hated Josh for leaving. I especially hated God and all his guardian angels. I hated life. At the same time I pleaded with God, the Divine, the Universe to take me back to the exact moment when I arrived at the accident and heard the choir of angels welcoming my Josh home. I wanted to remain forever in their Grace. I wanted to remain where I could see Josh walking towards the light, towards the love that knocked me off my feet. I wanted to go where he went.
Instead I heard his voice call out to me at night telling me he was ok. Telling me I had promises to fulfill and reminding me of the discussions we had that were to be shared with others. In my darkest minute a phone would ring and a stalwart friend would bring me back to the present. Through my dear friends Josh would speak to me. They shared with me the way I would always know he was near; the penny which would appear out of nowhere. They sent emails describing him showing up to ride with them on long trips or sit with them as they moved through their own dark nights.
My heart was shattered into oblivion, ached deeply and constantly. I found myself alone in my grief. I questioned my sanity. I prayed, begging God to bring him back knowing full well it would never happen. I gave myself permission for the very first time in my life to sit with all the pain, the pain of being human. In sitting with all the pain, I found myself. I glimpsed the light that would bring me out of the dark. I did not know nor did I care what my life would become. I just sat in my pain refusing to build a story around it, allowing it to heal. I allowed the pain to mend my shattered heart.
My heart healed because I believed that the love I had for my son could never be destroyed. I knew that his heart and mine, his heart and those he met, my heart and those I met were deeply entwined never to be broken. No one could ever take that away from me. I knew God would never ask me to give up Love. It was through truly loving that I would live again.
No one except someone who has also lost a child could ever understand this moment in my life. I did not ask anyone to join me there. I did seek someone to listen as I wailed and grieved. I found that someone, those someone’s and I know there were times when they felt helpless and tired of hearing the same song. They never refused to listen.
I know everything leading up to May 1999 prepared me for his death. My longing to be understood and loved prepared me. The innate knowing of something deeper than the world I saw outside my window sustained me. My stubbornness drove me to push through the pain, confusion and helped me not to give up. The real piece that allowed me to believe in the light, believe in myself, believe that nothing was ever in vain was my awakening to my soul and Spirit. It was those early years when I first embraced my true essence that brought me through to share my heart.
There were times when I was carried by my soul.
It is not for us to know what lies ahead. It is for us to trust that we have within us the tools to walk our path. Our lives are not defined by our stories. They are only punctuated by the moment. It is when we allow our stories to direct who we are and where we are going that we are lost from the intimacy of Spirit. No one can ever walk your path for you. They can and will walk beside you creating a matrix that gives freely. The matrix can support you during the punctuated moments. It will help you to loose the story. It works because the matrix is the true essence of Spirit, of our souls. It is up to you what you do with the gift of the matrix.
I know what I did with the Matrix of the Heart.
The Soul Traveler and Josh