Monday, August 08, 2011
Sat Nam everyone!
We are in beautiful Gilsum New Hampshire. This is where my husband Sopurkh's parents have a very sweet little home. We've got our RV parked in their driveway. I love being here. There are trees everywhere, and this gentle breeze that just makes you feel blessed. Jap Preet and I love taking walks and looking for chipmunks. And there is a great lake that we have been going to every day where the fish swim right up to you.
My mother in law got the first symptoms of Parkinson's Disease a few years ago, and just about a month ago her condition took a big dip. Now she needs someone with her all of the time. That someone has been my father in law. He just got some much needed back surgery, so Sopurkh has stepped in and has been taking care of his mother and now his father too. He is doing such a beautiful job, as I knew he would. But, there is something really special about this opportunity because I know how much he loves his parents and this is really giving him a way to show and express that love.
I am personally grappling with the whole experience of this form of Parkinson's Disease. There are many different forms of this disease. What my mother in law has includes a lot of dementia and the loss of other basic cognitive and physical capabilities. It is intense to say the least. From the perspective of yoga and meditation, loosing one's memory and not being able to do much but sit and breathe is considered an incredible yogic opportunity. In fact it brings you closer to just pure awareness. But to get to that place takes a journey through so many emotions and so many identities that we give ourselves from the workings of our mind. Here are some identities on my list.... I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a daughter, I am a cook, I am a house cleaner, I am a singer, I am a touring artist, I am a teacher, I am a poet, I am this, I am that. If all of my identities were taken away because I no longer could do things to fulfill my roles could I get to that place of "I am, I am"? Could I be alright with just being?
Many of us pray to be on the spiritual path where we are letting go of our identities on a daily basis, by our own surrender. My mother in laws identities are being taken from her without her wishing, without her consciously choosing it, and without her wanting to let go.
Watching my mother in law go through it is painful. She is such a beautiful lady. Just a few years ago when she visited us I remember how when we had a party in honor of the fact that she was with us, I found her in the kitchen doing everyone's dishes. I remember how when my daughter was born she was filled with so much joy to be with us. I think her Parkinson's symptoms were just coming on at that point and so she couldn't do very much in terms of helping with the housework that comes with a new baby. She decided to just be with her grand daughter and she sat, for hours, watching her, smiling to her, and talking to her. I will never forget that. I am sure my daughter is blessed now for her whole life to have experienced such pure love and devotion.
And now with the symptoms much worse, she still is showing all of us so much pure love.
In the words of Sopurkh, "for me, this has been an experience of surrender, which I guess is love, but it's more about accepting life just as it is, as it is placed before me. Then acting responsibly. All the while, creating joy and happiness, and having faith and gratitude with what is placed on my path."
I pray to one day understand why all of this is happening and release some of the pain in my heart in watching such a beautiful lady struggle in this way. I pray for all families dealing with Parkinson's Disease. For all families dealing with any disease. May we find God's simple and beautiful presence within us, when all else is stripped away.
If you have not already read the music therapy research on the effects of music on PD, then it is a great time to do that. You can help ease the way..the brain is particularly responsive to rhythm and the body is a rhythmic organism.
If you want to know more, I am happy to help you in your search. This is one of my specializations. Just contact me.
Thank you for a beautiful insight into love.
Yoga Energy Therapy
In yours and your husbands willingness to meet her loss, and yours, then her suffering is not in vain. It becomes a gift which reveals compassion, understanding and sacred service. Because of your devotion to the awakening of all being, this great blessing is for all. Your bow receives everything; grace, love, goodness prevail. My heart is filled with gratitude for your family.
As you say, who are we when our identity is stripped away? What's left? It's what we all say we're seeking. I suspect your mother in law is finding a deeper way of being present. And at the same time understand the grief of losing parts of your loved one.
I like how Sopurkh is holding the experience. He is truly wise.
I am deeply touched by your story. Thank you for sharing it.
A wonderful book on caregiving is Gail Sheehy's 'Passages In Caregiving', turning chaos into confidence. Covers all aspects, even family supporters. Love and Blessings. Caryn, Sac. CA.
wishes for insight and beauty.
I am so sorry to read of your Mother in law's illness. I would like to suggest the herb Ginkgo Biloba for memory loss, it has been proven to help even people with Alzheimers, and in some instances even reverse it, so I know it would help with other forms of memory loss, as it increases the blood flow to the brain and is an anti-aging antioxidant. I am going to pray for her, and for your Father in law, as well as the rest of your family. I will also send Reiki, as much as is needed. Again, I am so sorry that you are all going through this. I always tell others that when one is broken, we are all unmended, and I truly believe this. Blessings to you.
Sat Nam, **(-_-)**
All I can say is may Guruji bless all of you for the sewa that you have been doing and may Guruji bless and guide her through all the pain too..
Thank you for the blessing you have been in my life. Sat nam. Milree