Friday, 30 October 2009

3. Recognition

I laughed with surprise. Of course! How could I have forgotten; but I never guessed. Now it all made sense. The painful life just led, but a life rich with opportunities for growth, opportunities to love. That bright, mischievous smile, the many generous gestures – little tokens of affection - the freshly plucked bud, the colourful card, a kiss, “I love you mummy”. Now the years of despair and exhaustion began to take on a different hue. When you were happy the sun shone out of you, but to maintain that inner light we had to enter your world. You never really found your place in ours. The childhood battles; getting dressed, brushing teeth, going to school - followed by the searing cry of adolescence – alcohol, drugs, the fall guy who ended up in police custody. The bright-eyed little boy dulled and buffeted by a world that was too harsh for your gentle soul. But through all these years who guided who? We learnt to love without expectation, without attachment, through anger, disappointment, frustration, grief. Grief for what might have been, and for what was. In entering your darkness we found an inner light and strength. Your love for life, and purity of soul sustained and fed our battered spirits. We watched the world’s riches fall away as we were brought low by your distress. The dissolution of ambition, increasing poverty, loss of health and happiness. And now – here you are! As the warmth and brightness of the light submerge my being, joy creeps through my weary spirit. My beloved son, my wise old soul, my constant companion, my support in this life and in many others. In your wisdom and generosity you offered yourself as my guide. Through your steadfast inner beauty you protected us from the heavy materialism of life on earth. Your gentle energies helped us to dig deep within, to discover the light beyond the darkness. How much we learnt. Each small act of love, each momentary sacrifice, now shone radiant before me. Each dark moment in which through an effort to will, like one gasping for water in a desert, I cried, ‘For You’ to some higher power, was now illumined by a luminous cascade of dancing lights. My guide, my ‘angel’ companion, how little I understood and how much I learnt under your most gracious care.

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