March 9th 2006
Someone on the forum started a process for me that led to a phone call to my mother. And as soon as my mother answered the phone she was indeed in the spirit with me for that very day she too had found two poems which came to her that fit exactly what I called to talk to her about. Now when searching out some of the words on the net in order to find the whole poem I also came upon the story called “The Leaf”.
The large, bold headline dominated the front page, RABIN ASSASSINATED. Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been shot while at a huge peace rally in Tel Aviv. Rabin had been speaking to over 100,000 people about creating peace and harmony between people. The world mourned his death and history will remember him as a man who worked for peace.
We do not remember days
We remember moments
The phone kept ringing. I was leaving to go to my Mom’s house and called before to let them know I was coming. Finally, my youngest sister, René answered. “How’s Mom?” I asked. “She’s gone,” was the reply. For a moment, I thought she had been rushed to the hospital again as she had been so many times this last year. “What do you mean, René?”
The reply was very emphatic, “She’s GONE, Gerri.” I knew then that my mother had just passed away. I froze. Then time stood still, my body and mind became numb but somehow I was able to call my twin sister, Gloria, and let her know. I picked her up and we sat in silence, each of us deep in our own thoughts, as we drove over to our Mom’s house in the pouring rain. The house was quiet except for phone calls being made by my sisters, Dannie and René, to notify friends and relatives.
My Mom had been ill for over a year and we had all spent many hours at the hospital and her bedside caring for her and just being with her. We were told on two different occasions that my Mom wouldn’t make it through the night, yet her strength of character carried her through.
Two days before she passed, I had a strong urge to spend the night and be with her. I had not spent the night in this house since I left to get married many years before. She was in a hospital bed in the living room and I spent most of the night lying awake on the couch, holding her hand and listening to her breathing. The next morning, the priest arrived to give her last rites. My sister René and I were the only ones at home at the time. As I walked downstairs, I noticed the priest and a woman from the church standing near my mother. I joined them and we all held hands and prayed. Then the priest annointed my mother and asked if we would like to give our mother the last rites. He told us that he doesn’t really do this but he thought he’d offer the opportunity to us. We both felt very honored to be allowed this special privilege and it felt very sacred. The priest was getting ready to leave when we heard a knock on the door. It was Aunt Sophie, my mother’s last living sibling, her older sister. Aunt Sophie was also offered the privilege of giving my mother her last sacrament and she did. I realized as this was happening that there are no accidents in the universe. This event was divinely orchestrated. The oldest daughter, the youngest daughter and the last living sibling all were there to share in this blessed, sacred ritual. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe we are all at the right place at the right time when things work out perfectly.
I returned again that evening and saw that my mom was weaker and that her vital signs were slowing down.
Wednesday, I went into the office and tried to keep my mind occupied on work. All day long, a song kept running through my head, the Frank Sinatra song that goes “and now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain ... I lived a life that’s full ... I traveled each and every highway ... but more, much more than this, I did it my way.” The song stayed with me throughout the day and I wondered if that was a sign. Was I being told something? Later that afternoon, we did a live interview for our radio show with Linda Georgian who had just written a new book called Communication With The Dead. She told us that she communicates with her deceased mother who encouraged her to write this book. Again, this was by divine plan. The song lyrics that were a sign of events to come and another sign was Linda Georgian speaking about her mother and how they communicate more now since she has passed on. The messages were coming to me loud and clear. That evening, Mom made her transition.
My daughter Theresa and son Gary flew in from Atlanta to be with me and to pay their respects. We all went through the motions and activity for the next few days at the funeral home. We had brought a large photo album that included pictures of us as we were growing up and had pictures of Mom and all of us at different times during the past few years. People came by, flowers arrived, friends and acquaintances came and held our hands and shared their stories of our Mom. My brother Billy and his wife, Marion, came from Charlevoix. I was surprised to see so many people come who didn’t even know my Mom. They came to be of support to me and the family. That’s when I realized that the funeral was for the living, for those who were left behind as well as to celebrate my Mother’s life.
The priest conducted a short service in the evening in which he wanted people to relate their stories about my Mom. We each spoke of her and commented on things we remembered. We laughed and shed tears as we celebrated the rich life she lived and what she gave to each of us.
The first day at the funeral home, I mentally asked my Mother to give me a sign that she was still with me. I kept looking in corners and looking around but nothing appeared.
After the service, people broke into little groups and were talking and I found myself wandering over to be with my Mother, to share a last bit of time together. I was appreciating her as I recalled memories through the years. I remembered how I talked to her many months before and how we had made our peace with each other and done a lot of healing. We had talked on a heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul level. I was so glad we had that time before she became really sick and unable to communicate or understand any more. We did have quality time together and I was glad we did.
As I was appreciating her, I held her hand and caressed her shoulder and my eyes welled up with tears of joy as I remembered how she liked to have her fingernails painted. How, when I was a little girl, she would hold my hand in church as she prayed the rosary and as we would take walks. Her hands had strength. She worked in the earth and could grow anything. Everyone always commented on her “green thumb.”
After I finished reflecting on these special times, I turned around to see my sister René walking toward me with both arms outstretched. She had a huge maple leaf in her hands and, as she gave it to me, she said, “This is from Mom to you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. Then she told me that as she was walking outside, there were leaves all over the ground. There was one particular leaf that that stood straight up on its end as she walked past. She thought how strange that was and felt it calling to her to come back. So she went back to this leaf and it spoke to her saying “Take me to Gerri. This is from Mom.” René then took that leaf and brought it in to me. As I took it from her, I held it to me and knew my Mother had sent this as my sign. She was really around me. She had given me a gift, one that I will always treasure.
It’s true that when we die, we shed our bodies but our spirit lives on.
It was only a year ago that I stopped by my Mom’s house with my camera to take pictures of the beautiful autumn leaves on her street. My mother and I gathered leaves together in the front yard and enjoyed the time together. That’s why she came back with that sign, that leaf. It proved to me beyond a doubt that we do not die and that we can still be in touch with our loved ones. The spirit lives on!
Oh, by the way, René has never had communication with a leaf, a tree, or anything non-physical before. Yet, she was not shocked that this happened to her. She believed, as do I, that my Mother really communicated through this leaf.
There is a book that helped me through the transition period and I recommend it for anyone that is going through transition of a loved one. It deals with the entire process, before, during and after the death. This is the book I read when I spent the night at my Mother’s house. It is titled As Someone Dies, a handbook for the living by Elizabeth A. Johnson (Hay House). I found a poem that touched me and that I would like to share here:
I am standing on the
A ship spreads her sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean
I stand watching until she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says, “She is gone!”
Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment when someone says, “She is gone,” there are others who are watching her coming.
Other voices take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying.
A special thank you to
those who came by to pay their respects and to be supportive, and to those who
sent cards with beautiful, heartfelt words of inspiration, to those who sent
flowers and words of caring through the phone. You, my friends, are helping me
get through the grieving process. What also helped me was Linda Newman’s
article from the November 1995 issue where she wrote about the transition of a
I know my Mom is only a heartbeat away.
We need to take the time to say what we want to say when our loved ones are still here with us so we won’t have any regrets. We need to appreciate the best qualities in them and remember those.
The world will remember Yitzhak Rabin as a man of peace. Our family will remember our Mother for always being there for us. She gave unselfishly.
How will you be remembered when you make your transition?
I dedicate this article to my Mom, Anna McKay. I know you will send more signs my way. Bon voyage, sweet spirit, in your new adventure!
Gerri is director of
advertising and public relations and assistant to the editor of phenomeNEWS.
She continues to share her thoughts “On The Path” in this column. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dreaming in Romance with Spirit this evening I had synch with this subject even more that relates to what has been written lately.
I am dieing, I am thirsting for freshness
I have died so many times getting to know you
I go to prepare a place for you
In letting go of the veil of interpretation about what this means and rather allowing your life to unfold one day you will get to a place where you find that such phrases that seem to have passed from one age to another are spirit, and in true spirits fashion this phrase means many things. Take that part of me that has passed on and loves me, take my grandparents and other loved ones. The life you want to go to would it not contain such as these. And as you grow and those you know come and go there comes a time when so many of those that are a part of us have gone. “And Abraham went to be with his fathers”
Now the synchronicity with this info and also listening to our tape made in Red Rock Canyon just a week ago we had the synch on the tape about the leaf.
Jesus said: I have overcome death