When I was a very young child, I would walk through the fields around our house and pray that I would find an animal that needed saving. "Please, send me any sick rabbits or birds or baby squirrels that I can feed and take care of." I had watched my grandma nurse a dove back to health after she found it half frozen in the snow. I thought it was the most magical and beautiful thing I had ever seen.
My grandma was complete magic to me. When she would walk outside twice a day yelling "here kitty kitty kitty" and hundreds of cats would swarm her from all corners of the world (so it seemed), I felt like I was witnessing a goddess on Earth. She would lovingly pat them on the head, give them their kibble and saucer of milk, and then go back inside to the many dogs and cats who shared her home.
Grandma was an abundant woman in every way. Her laugh was abundantly loud, her body was abundant for snuggling, her anger was abundant and fierce. She was larger than life to the small child that I was. She taught me to read, brought home the most magical yard sale finds, and awakened in me the healer's calling.
I remember feeling really special to Grandma after my little sister was born. I was not quite two, and mom had her hands full with a colicky newborn. Luckily, Grandma lived right next door and I could visit her and her menagerie of pets to supplement the attention I was missing after my little sister arrived on the scene. Grandma was a place where I belonged, she was medicine for my displacement. She helped me feel connected to the deepest places in myself.
I was still very young when Grandma was diagnosed with cancer. During her battle with cancer, Mom gave birth to my little brother. The day after his first birthday, Grandma died. She wouldn't be there to ease the lonely feelings of having a new sibling. She wouldn't be there to watch my healer's calling take form and shape. She wouldn't be there.
Her death tore my family apart. Twenty-eight years later we are still living in the reverberations of the tsunami of grief and pain that her death catapulted our family into. Nothing was ever the same after she died. Nothing ever really felt safe again. The world was upside down, and has remained that way. We have learned how to survive in an upside down world, but it has been hard to thrive here.
I have carried this grief, tucked away in my heart, for all of these years. It has ripened now, into some sour medicinal fruit. And it is time to give this fruit back to the Earth so that it can nourish and support Life.
This blog series will be my first attempt at tasting these fruits. Thanks for joining me at the banquet.