"The most beautiful moment in life is when a person gains peace with their own mortality." - a Dutch or Danish nun working a San Francisco Hospital that housed many AIDS patients in the year 2000
I don't remember her name, but I do remember her eyes and her aura. She didn't seem to fit in with the norm of the crowd. She was dressed in almost dowdy and dull clothing, had no make-up, no fancy hair, didn't appear to have Botox or any bodily augmentation, no hair coloring. Yet, she had piercing and deep soulful eyes. She sat at the table next to me, and we chatted.
Every morning I would wake up and go down to the Starbucks in Sausalito to get coffee. Many times I would walk across the street and sit on the rocks and brainstorm while watching the bay and skyline.
The city was a combination of silicon valley multi-millionairess meeting old-time mariners, and the transient mental health/homeless/wanderer groups that had a seasonal route up and down the coast they would traverse, and tourists taking the ferry boat over. That is why I so enjoyed the place – you had diversity, lunacy, wealth, and poverty all crashing in one place.
It turns out the young woman was a nun/nurse from Denmark or the Netherlands. Her calling in life was helping people, and she was sent to a city hospital in San Francisco that had a great deal of AIDS patients that didn't have a great deal of money. I sat and was astounded to listen to her story and what it was like in the city hospital. I remember AIDS coming out when I went to college, and the idea of getting laid was nil, as straight and gay people really didn't know what it was – only you could die from having sex.
Many nights my friend boom-boom and I would lament this culture while eating our pizzas or hoagies at a college filled with rich folks, that allowed us to come in because we were supposed to be smart enough, but could play football. we were doubly screwed by the AIDS epidemic and people who called themselves "buffy and babs."
Is that a double entendre? Of just not enough coffee.
I digressed again. When the nurse spoke the line, her eyes were in a place far away when she said it. While her body was in the Sausalito Starbucks, her soul was in a place far away, seeming to enlighten her and the coffee shop filled with folks more concerned with stock options and making a fortune than life or death.
I had experienced this transition in a few people before. You saw someone suffering and having a terrible time trying to stop fighting the transition to death and reach that state of acceptance and peace. I watched this happen yesterday with my father, and it was priceless to watch.
The odd part is I don't think much of the world is aware of what is going on. People probably see me smiling with joy and think, "you are supposed to be sad!" and I am like, "shit, I am more jealous than anything that the grand scheme of life and death is being worked out with the creator and I get to witness it! besides, the place we are going is a whole lot better than the earth and the bodies we are living in!"
Yes. I have learned not to say such things but just smile and nod my head. But now with the acceptance of mortality, dad can enjoy and walk out his time left in peace. Hopefully, he gets broken out of the hospital in a few days, and he can have his wish to pass away at his home, and I am all for that. I will get to witness him with a childlike heart looking at the squirrelitos, birditos, and other critters in the back yard and express it like a two-year-old child in an 84-year-old body.
When I broke him out a few months ago for a ride, he was just starting around in the car, "gosh the hills are so beautiful…look at the clouds! So pretty!..." it was so simple, and priceless.
But that is where we are today. Mom will follow along in time, but right now, she is a bit of a wreck trying to "control" that which is uncontrollable. None of us knows how much time, how long, or when we will go from this place to wherever.
A friend asked me to read a book called illusions, which I thought was about spiritual dynamics and learning about new techniques, but it was about a barnstorming messiah in a plane. An easy read that I did yesterday and smiled at the message inside the storyline. I guess it really is the impetus for the woo woo rooms. I feel that the beauty of life is choice and in the west, free will. I think we have taken them for granted a wee bit (ok a lot) so if all I do in life is figure out a way for people to grow healthy food and have some places to go for better health themselves, so be it. But that is what the rest of my time here will be about.
of course, for however long, I get to take care of my dad and enjoy the gift of life and death.
Ok. Coffee time now. The sun is poking through the morning coolness and fog.