Gifts – Nautilus Teachings

oh the colors in my soul
oh the colors in my soul

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
writes in her book
gift from the sea
that we must wait patiently
throughout our lives
our days and our times
for our gifts
that are given freely from the sea
beautiful shells
graceful birds
the lapping of the waves
the rising and receding of the tide…

mom and me 1968
mom and me 1968

I’m not going to find my mom
at the beach
or in a shell
i’m not going to see her walking
down the street
i may catch a whiff of her perfume now and then
i may see  chocolate eyes with
flecks of emeralds
peering at me
and think
“those are my mother’s eyes”
but i know i am not going to
be with her or see her
or hug or touch her…
I write about my mom
like she was a goddess
because to me
she was
i was a kid
i was a  selfish
immature child
not knowing death was there
not understanding
any sense of death
i just walked in this cloud
i wanted to understand it
but i don’t know if i ever will
so i accept it and move on

mom and me 1976
mom and me 1976

as I walk the
beach alone
i remember the day so clearly
the night before she died,
we said our goodbyes..
my mother who was in a coma
woke up
gave us each a hug
and gently cried…
we prayed
by moms bedside
telling her,
“it’s ok to die…”

‘it’s ok to die mom…
it’s ok…’

it wasn’t ok to die

but i didn’t have a choice
so i told her it was ok to die

we left my dad alone
for his last night with my mother-
when i walked in the next morning
happy from feeding and loving my son nick
who was merely 18 months old
my dad was in the chair and he was quiet
he looked at me
and said,

“Sheri, you are not going to believe what happened to me…
God came to me last night
He lifted me out of my chair
and told me that she would be ok
that i would be ok…”

i hugged him
told him i loved him
and went back home
back to Nick and my family

mom, dad and nick 1986
mom, dad and nick 1986

my sister in law
and i got in the car
and went shopping
for clothes to wear
to my mother’s funeral
we looked for a long time
picked out a dress
and as i was about to pay
i felt strange-
i looked at the cashier and said
“what time is it?”
she responded “1:58”
I looked at my sister in law and whispered
“My mom just died…”
she looked at me like i was bonkers
but i felt my mother’s release from this world
and as my mother would say
when the cashier asks how she would
like to pay for this
i replied,
“CHARGE IT!”
sure enough
we raced home
and we were greeted by our neighbor
who kindly said,
“you need to go to the hospital Sher,
your mom died…”

as i parked alone
i thought to myself
“my mom is dead,
my mom is dead-
what does that mean?”

mom and us kids 1968
mom and us kids 1968

we gathered for one last prayer
and as i reached for my mother’s hand
it was cold
she was gone
no breath
silence
in this room
on July 20, 1987…

mom 1980
mom 1980

i will never stop missing my mother
but the gifts she gave
me of
love, faith, forgiveness, grace, acceptance
i am able to freely give back
“patience and Faith is what the sea teaches…”
writes Anne Morrow Lindbergh
it is here
in my tiny town of Cocoa Beach
that i patiently waited
and was given
through my faith
NAUTILUS…

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