Thursday, July 31, 2003


The Camino begins when the Camino ends
August 2002

My mother's death is still affecting me. I am going through the "would of, should of, could of's," and regretting some of this things I did or didn't do. Right now I am feeling guilty about going on the walk. My mother asked me to come to visit her several times before I finally went out to see her. Each time she asked I said I did not have the money to come out and that I would try to visit later. I did not want to go because of what was going on between her and my brother. It was hard to handle it from 1,200 miles away and the last thing I wanted was to be right in the middle of it. Then the walk came up and I had to tell her that I was going to Spain instead of coming to see her. She said she understood but I could feel that she was angry about it. I know I cannot change anything but, just the same, I can't seem to get past the guilt.

There is a Metaphysical Fair at the end of the month so I call my sister in Denver and ask if she would like to go. She says yes. We talk about the fair a little and then she tells me objects seem to be moving around in her house. I tell her it sounds like Mom is living with her now. We both laugh. I ask her if we should try and contact Mom at the Fair and she eagerly says yes. I tell her I will see her next weekend and hang up.

When we arrive at the fair the first thing we do is look for LL. When we find her we ask if she can help us talk to our mother. She says yes so we sign up for a reading in the afternoon. Later after eating lunch and wandering around the booths we make our way back to LL's table and sit down. I tell her what has been going on and how it has upset me. To make me feel more comfortable she tells us about the first time her grandfather contacted her after he died and how upsetting that was for her. For some reason this does calm me and we begin.

LL tells us Mom is here with her angels and that Mom's angels want me to know that they are the ones who sent me on my walk. They did this because they wanted me to be prepared to hear my mother, to see here, and to not be afraid. They also want me to know that at times on my walk I reached a "spiritual depth." Then LL tells us that when Mom died she did not feel done with her life. When she was a kid she thought 70 was old and believed she was going to die at that age but in her 70's she realized it wasn't old. When she realized she was dying she did not want to leave so soon. Dying left her feeling unfinished with her life. LL then says Mom has a female guide with her to help her to communicate with us. She says Mom wants the two of us (my sister and I) to get journals and write to her every day for three months and that she will write back. She says Mom uses the photo of the Virgin Mary statute I took in Spain to meditate on.

I ask if Mom is mad at me for going to Spain instead of visiting her and LL says, "she doesn't care." My sister and I laugh because LL says this with the same vocal inflections of our mother along with the same facial expression and hand gestures our mother used whenever she used the phrase, "I don't care." Then LL tells us Mom wasn't mad at me for going on the walk but jealous because I got to go and she didn't. LL pauses for a minute listening to something we cannot hear and then says, "Ahhh, Your mother is going to do the walk herself." That when she does the walk she will do the "hard path" and walking it as a "multi-dimensional being." She will be doing these walks for the next three years.

LL then tells us that on the Camino people always report seeing spirit beings and angels walking alone. When Mom does the walk she is going to be with another spirit and people will see them. They will be doing the walk with a group of people and these people will think Mom and the other spirit are real people. Then later during the walk Mom and this other spirit will help these people as angels. Mom is doing the walk for her own spiritual growth, to offer healing for her life. Mom is sorry for some of the horrible things she did to us. She is going on the walk to suffer. Not to suffer in the way we think suffering is but a healing suffering "like lighting a candle but not putting your finger in it." She will do the walk five times because there are thing in her live time that she needs to "light the candle and burn the paper."

At this point my sister tells LL that our mother had five children. Of course, one walk for each of us. LL then says our mother gave each of her children five different lives. We each got a different part of her. My sister asks if Mom is going to help five different people in the different ways she could have helped her children, if she had been able to when she was alive. LL says yes. There is another pause then LL says my mother is telling her that I was a gift to her by going on the walk. By me going on the walk I gave my mother permission to do what she needs to do. Mom says not to feel guilty for anything because if we do not feel guilty, it will help her not to feel guilty. Our mother wants to be a good mother and help us from the other side in the way she was not able to do in life.

LL asks us if there is anything else we want to know and I ask if Mom understands that we always loved her, no matter what she did or didn't do. LL says yes and that our mother wants us to know she loves us very much too. Then it is over and Mom is gone.

During the reading the rest of the world had faded away and now I hear the noise of the crowds surrounding us. I am exhausted because of the emotional roller coaster I have been on. What I heard either delighted me, or surprised me, or gave me a sense of relief. I am delighted that Mom is going to do the walk. I am surprised by it too. I am relieved that she is not angry with me for going on the walk. It makes sense that she was jealous because she always hated being left behind. Well, Mom, you are leading the way now.

That night at my sister's house she and I talk about Mom and the days events. We are glad we did this and feel a lot better about our mother's death . I realize now that my mother is not really gone but just in another room that I cannot enter yet. This thought comforts me. We talk about Mom doing the walk and I tell her the story of the Glowing Man. She says she thinks the man was walking with a spirit, maybe someone who had not finished the walk in life. Then she says this is the first time I have talked about my trip. I nod. I think today was a healing experience for me. That is why the walk is no longer in a black hole deep inside me. It has been released and I am now able to talk about it. I remember when I saw LL back in March she told me that I should write about the walk but I brushed the suggestion off. I knew I could not do it at that time. Now, I think I can write about it. Well.....not right now. Maybe sometime in the future.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

I have not entered anything in a week (except for a quote) because of the weather. The temps have been in the 100's (yesterday 110). When it get this hot my frustration tolerance level drops to just above nil. I have had computer modem problems, comments problems, and Blogger problems. This has caused stuff to disappear, to be slow in loading, and disconnects while on line. The modem has been replaced, Enetation is fixing the comments problem this weekend (or so they say), and who knows about Blogger. If everything is working smoothly on Monday I will try to get back to posting.

(Unfortunately, the weather is going to be the same next week with the temps into the 100's so I cannot promise anything.) ;o)

Saturday, July 19, 2003


It is wonderful how quickly you get used to things, even the astonishing
- Edith Nesbit
June/July 2002

June is a hard month because the 5th is my mother's birthday. Her death is still fresh and most of the time I forget she is gone. Then, unexpectedly, something will make me think of her and I remember she is no longer here. This knowledge hits me like an ice-cold bucket of water and each time I take a deep quick breath of shock. But on the 5th I remember she is dead and I ache to call her on the phone, wish her a happy birthday, and hear her voice.

The towel stays on the microwave each night but other strange things are happening. Someone is waking me up in the middle of the night. Twice it has happened while I am lying on my side with my left are stretched out off the bed. Very firmly, someone taps me twice on my inner forearm. Each time I instantly wake up and think of my 12-year-old niece. One morning I am so tired that after my husband gets out of bed I start drifting back to sleep. Someone taps me on the top of my right shoulder while I am lying on my back; again I wake up instantly. I look over at my husband's side of the bed and find it empty. At the same time I hear my husband opening the garage door at the back of the house.

Then there are the times someone calls my name. Each time this happens I am in bed and just drifting off when I clearly hear someone say my name. Each time I feel the person calling me is standing right beside me with their lips just inches from my ear. One night when I hear the voice I think of my sister in Denver and the next morning I call her to see if she is all right.

Each time something happens I am mildly surprised by the fact that I am not afraid. What is happening is not normal but it just doesn't seem to scare me.

Monday, July 14, 2003


I hunt for things
that will color my life
with brilliant memories
because I do believe
lo que nos dice
la mano del escritor:
that life is remembering

- Evangelina Vigil-Pinon

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

May 2002

No, this is the strange month.

Before I tell you what happened I have to describe the layout of my house. I live in a small house with a main floor and a basement. The layout on the main floor is as follows. First, draw a square and then draw a line straight down the middle of the square and another line across the center of the square turning the big square into four little squares. The top square on the left is the living room and the top square on the right is the dining room. Erase the line between the two top squares making one living/dining area. Now you have a large rectangle and two small squares. The bottom left square is the bedroom and the bottom right square is the kitchen.

At the lower corner of the living area on the wall between it and the bedroom erase some of the line to make a doorway. At the lower corner of the dining area on the wall between the dining area and the kitchen erase some of the line to make another doorway. At the lower left corner of the kitchen on the outer wall erase some of the line to make another doorway that goes to the bathroom (yes, the bathroom is off the kitchen because this is an old house and that's how they built it). At the same corner but on the wall between the bedroom and the kitchen erase some of that line to make the last doorway.

If you draw the doorways between the main rooms correctly you can circle the inside of the house without walking into any walls. The house is built this way because it only has a heating stove in the dining area. All the doorways allow the heat to circulate through the house in the winter. They also allow the cool air from a window air conditioner in the living area to circulate in the summer.

Now, in the kitchen against the wall between the bedroom and the kitchen is the stove and right beside it on the wall between the kitchen and the dining area are three shelves. On the middle shelf is a microwave. The display light on the microwave is so bright that it spills into the bedroom at night making it difficult to sleep. Because of this I always drape a kitchen towel (the one hangs on the oven door handle) over the front of the microwave before I go to bed at night. I put a kitchen timer on the towel to hold it in place.

All this month, at odd intervals, I find the towel back on the oven door after I drape it over the front of the microwave. As first when I find the towel on the stove I think I just forgot to put it on the microwave that night. A couple of nights I ask my husband if he used the towel to dry his hands and then hung it over the oven door instead of putting it back on the microwave and he tells me no. A few nights I have been awakened by the light from the microwave and have gone into the kitchen to put the towel over the microwave. Each time I am not really sure if I put the towel there before I went to bed.

Then one night on my way to take a shower I stop to put the towel over the microwave. After my shower I open the bathroom door and see the towel hanging from the oven door. This time I know I put the towel on the microwave and I get very upset because I think my husband has been playing a trick on me. He is in bed reading and I look at him and angrily ask him if he moved the towel from the microwave. He looks at me in total surprise and say no. Then I realize who has been moving the towel. It's my mother. This shocks and scares me so much I say out loud, "Mom, I know this is you. Please don't do this anymore, it's scaring me." For the rest of the month the towel stays where I put it.

Saturday, July 05, 2003


Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time..... the wait is simply to long
- Leonard Bernstein
April 2002

This is a strange month.

My sister calls from the Netherlands. Last time I talked to her she was still in California. She stayed in LA a few days visiting friends and then drove back down to San Diego to pick up some of Mom's ashes. While she was pouring the ashes into her bottle a snap fell out. She was a little freaked because she realized the only place it could have come from was Mom's hospital gown. Now she is calling to tell me that when she got back home to the Netherlands she found the same type of snap laying on the front steps of her house.

A few days later I am walking home form the Post Office with a package that my brother sent me. It holds our mother's ashes and as I walk I am very conscious of this fact. When I get home I open the package and pull out a round metal candy box and slowly open it. Inside is a carefully sealed gallon size plastic storage bag containing my mother's ashes. When I see this I loose it and sit down sobbing. My husband comes in the room and after seeing the ashes walks over and hugs me. After I stop crying I get up and transfer some of the ashes into the Bencharong bowl I bought and my husband puts some silicone gel around the edge of the lid and we seal the bowl. I will take the ashes left in the candy box to Denver for my youngest sister.

I finally decide the time is right to do the aura cleansing ritual LL has given me. I no longer can live feeling like I have been ripped in two. I lay the crystals I bought in a circle on my living room carpet and then pick a CD to listen to while I am lying down. LL said to choose something that makes me happy so I pick Snoopy's Jazz Classiks On Toys, a collection of songs played on toy musical instruments. After I start the CD player I step into the crystal circle and lie down. The instant my head touches the floor I am over come with a feeling of deep sadness and start crying. I am crying so hard that my tears are running down the sides of my face in two tiny streams. I am crying tears of sadness, tears of grief, tears of loneliness, tears of loss. I sob and sob. I am so deep into this that I no longer hear the CD playing.

After a while my tears ease and I come back to my surroundings. I can hear the CD playing and I start laughing in delight when I realize the song playing is Put On A Happy Face.

Gray skies are going to clear up, put on a happy face.
Brush off the clouds and cheer up, put on a happy face.
And spread sunshine all over the place, just put on a happy face

As I lie there listening to the song I feel totally relaxed. I am supposed to stay in the circle for at least a half hour but after 20 minutes it starts getting harder and harder for me to lie still. I sneak a look at the clock after what I think is five minutes but the clock hand has only counted off 30 seconds. I fight the urge to stand up and step out of the circle. I decide to sit up, close my eyes, and concentrate on my breathing in the hope that this will calm me and make staying in the circle bearable.

I breath slowly and deeply until the floor under me softens and I sink down into it like it was a cushion. As I drop down I am aware of the sun warming my face. Part of me knows this is not possible because I am not sitting where sunlight can reach me but still, l I tilt my head back to bask in its warmth. I know I am standing on a mountain top and can feel a slight wind pushing against me. I'm sure if I open my eyes I will see that I am standing on the mountain in the Pyrenees where the statute of the Virgin Mary is. I keep breathing deeply, enjoying the almost quiet that surrounds me. The only sound is the wind as it passes by my ears. Then, I can see the mountains around me, the bright blue sky above, and the road winding it's way up the mountain toward me.

I realize I am not standing next to the statue; I am the statue. No, the statue and I are one. As I think this I no longer feel ripped apart but whole, like a double exposure that has merged into one solid image. Slowly what I see fades into the darkness behind my eyes and I come back into the room where I sit. I open my eyes and look at the clock; it has been exactly 30 minutes since I stepped into the circle.

Later in the month I am working at the town library. It is a Saturday, one hour before closing, and I am the only person in the building. I am sitting behind the counter reading when I hear a soft "womp" sound behind me. I turn to the sound but see nothing so I get up and walk around the counter. There in the middle of the floor is a book. I reach down, pick it up, and see that it is a copy of Bill Bryson's book, Notes From A Small Island; his book about his travels around England. This copy is the one my mother, who was an Anglophile, gave to the library.

Since I had walked across the spot where the book was laying about 15 minutes before I can't understand how it got there. Maybe it fell off the top of a bookcase. I stand the book up on one of the bookcases and tip it over so that it lands on the floor. Not even close to where it was laying. I repeat the experiment on all the bookcases and each time the book lands nowhere near where I found it.

Is this my mother's doing? First my sister finds that snap on her doorstep and now a book that my mother gave to the library drops out of the air and lands in a spot where it should not be. Mom, are you trying to tell us you are still here?