THE MEMORY OF HER HANDS

 

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…” – Lao Tzu

I am amazed at the thoughts and images that pop into my mind since the passing of my mom. It is shattering to realize the truth of death, the final vision of the person I loved. It is three months the day after Mother’s Day as her ashes sit on my mantel. Her wish to be placed in the water on the way out East that we travel in our boat. Still, I am not ready to let her go again. It comforts me her being here even if it is just her ashes. This process is a sharp cut to my heart; death, ashes, placing them in the water! Emotionally even if in my heart I know she stands right by me on the other side of the veil.

“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.” – Sophocles

For some reason, it is her hands that I remember most. I can picture in my mind her slender fingers, manicured nails. Later in life, she would hold her index fingers up crippled from arthritis. So crooked she would tell me they hurt as she tried to straighten them but couldn’t. I can remember we held hands whenever we were walking side by side somewhere. Our fingers laced together – her fingers so cool to the touch I now recall.

As her daughter, I am witness to seeing her in me at times. A flash of insight or quick look or glance in a mirror as I walk pass. I smile at these times to myself, that yes I am her child. Sometimes the simple way I sit when watching television or drink from a cup recalls to mind a picture of her. She was twenty years older than me. I can remember her as an amazingly young woman at heart.

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Since her transition, I have been delving into my life growing up with her as my mom. I’ve asked a few questions of myself and have come to know some interesting aspects of her and who I was to her before the onset of dementia. As a metaphysical practitioner, I know of the power we possess to manifest our lives by our thoughts, words, and actions. We are powerful in manifesting everything we want and do not want in our daily lives. We do not realize the strength of our personal beliefs.

Metaphysically dementia’s probable cause and belief is a refusal to deal with the world as it is. Hopelessness and anger. If only my mom had chosen to believe she was in her perfect place and that she was safe, I wonder how free she would have been of her nightmares all of these years. Her anger was part of her fear that she imagined due to the losses in her life.

I only recall the stories she chose to share of her childhood, her belief in God and for years her nightly reciting of the rosary. Not having a wealthy upbringing and being one of nine children during a very different time in life than how she raised me, I praise her today for doing the best she knew how under the circumstances.

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step would carry us through them.” – KMH

She survived it all; fear, alcoholism, abuse and death until she could no longer close her eyes and be witness to the pain anymore. Dementia crept in slowly at first until she was no longer the woman I knew her to be. It is a slower death to the person and the family then choosing to die. I write choosing because I believe we choose our life experiences and all that we want to learn in life from our parents, our children, the place of birth, family and friends as well.

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We are born to love, heal and grow our souls. To love unconditionally all, to forgive, awaken to our truth and our freedom. However, many of us like my mom become frozen in the depths of their fear – their past. They cherish what never was possible because of death, and then cling to their pain daily and stay in the mindset of fear. For many the greatest of fears is death!

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau

My mom never knew of her greatness. Her entire being became engulfed with too much fear of life and what it could do to her. I saw as a young girl how terrified she was of my dad and how she finally had to walk away from the fear after twenty-five years. When my brother was killed suddenly by a drunk driver on his way home from work, she began her descent into escaping from this world as she knew it. The pain was unbearable, and her grief took her away from my family and me when she chose to leave New York and move back to her hometown in Puerto Rico.

At first, I felt abandoned, actually for years I felt that she left me. Today, I know it was her grief that she tried to get away from and it had nothing to do with me. Recently, my son told me that he felt that she abandoned him and his siblings as well as, me twenty-six years ago, I was surprised! It is during these types of a moment that forgiveness comes into play. I believe she did what she needed to do at the time to survive the pain. It never helps to take anything someone else does personally. Many have trouble speaking their truth and fear is part of the anxiety of their day. It is all they know and cannot express their feelings. I believe this was true of my mom.

“Motherhood is … difficult and … rewarding …” – Gloria Estefan

 

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Recently, I have been thinking about my life with my mom and my thoughts about her as a mom. Today, I know she did the best that she could, and my favorite memory of her was her childish behavior at times and holding hands with her whenever we walked somewhere. I would like to say to her that I understand and I know she loved me in her way but could not handle the pain and fear. I no longer feel abandoned by her actions to move away from my family and me. The greatest sadness I felt at her passing was that she had never met my six grandchildren. Then I think to myself can this be part of the plan that we agreed to at one time in spirit form. It matters not anymore because it is in the past and can never be any other way. I must stay in the present! To do so, I must live out my dreams. These were her choices and as her daughter I respect them. Fear was her choice for her entire life. Had she chosen Love things would have been different. There are not many choices but only two that we all get to choose from. Ask yourself how do you choose to live your life? Is it with fear or love? Fear is the roar of your ego from within. Love is the whisper of God from within. Choose wisely!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

At this time in my life as a wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother I thank my mom for all that I learned from her. I am who I am today because of her choices. I discovered my truth, my passion and who I want to show to the world as a spiritual being bursting with unconditional love to share. There was a time twelve years ago when I asked her to come back to New York and live with me. She refused! She believed she would ruin my marriage and her fears would destroy her and me. That was when dementia climbed into her mind and settled in for the journey. I thank God for this life experience with my mom, and I am forever grateful that I chose her.

Today, as a woman, I am blessed to know I have always been able to live by my strength and beliefs. I feel sad that my mom never knew how strong she was and that she loved me unconditionally and I had never realized it before. I always believed that I was a teacher to my children as all moms are. I was setting an example which I hope today they can realize themselves. Mothering a child is about unconditional love because loving them as they are is key to their fulfillment.

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning

My mom never tried to change me, nor did she try to influence me in any way to be different than I was. I can hear her voice if I close my eyes and listen to how proud she was of me as a mom and wife. I am happy to write that was a great lesson for me to learn from her. Today, during this month of May when we celebrate our mothers, I wish to say to mine, “thank you, mom!” Take a moment and say this simple prayer as well … “thank you, mom!”

 

Pray! Meditate! Journal!

www.LindaAmato.com

 

Our Fathers Brothers and Sons …

The memories of being his daughter can only be shared from the eyes of the child I was. I recall that I held on so tight to his hand when we walked the streets of our neighborhood. Even today, I could see the birds in the trees as they chirped while children played stick ball in the street. The smell of summertime was in the air as we walked to the avenue to get french fries and fried shrimp in a brown paper bag which we ate as we walked back home. I was always amazed at the fun I had with my dad just walking around our neighborhood.

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“Old as she was she still missed her daddy.” -Gloria Naylor

My favorite memory of his was when he walked home from work and I could hear him whistling. These memories are stored in my heart safely from a time that filled me with wonder at the life I lived yesterday. Dad loved Mother Nature and all her beauty. Walking, swimming and being outside fueled his soul. He was nourished by all that She shared with him daily. I learned to respect Her at a young age and to never dirty Her world with paper or gum. Today these thoughts comfort me when I recall the  moments shared with the man I called dad!

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I miss him today mostly on Wednesdays. Why? Well that was the day I visited him weekly for years or at one time he visited me and it was his favorite day of the week. He lived in and out of mental institutions and adult homes for the last thirty years of his life. The day came when he could not put on a front of being normal for my children so he told me, “I can no longer come to your house its too difficult for me to leave my world and enter yours.” Now I know what he meant. Labelled manic-depressant because he attempted suicide he struggled for years to continue being the dad that I adored. My belief is that people who struggle with depression of any kind have had their hearts broken by someone they loved and trusted. I’m positive today that I was loved by him as deeply as I loved him.

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” -George Herbert

He nicknamed me “author!” He believed I was a writer. He encouraged me to write a book about his life. I wrote a spiritual/fictional story about his life that I self-published but today when I reflect on my words I believe it just might have been my life as well. Making Believers: “Connect to the light within…” was in honor of my dad’s life and I showed how once one connects to the light within change is possible. Growth is essential and unconditional love is the key to opening our hearts.

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I am at an age of insight and clarity. My wisdom years one might say. I have discovered the truth in the words that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. My belief is that we are here to learn how to be human beings. What if, we are here to learn the simple lesson of love? When we love we accept and forgive those that we fear. When we love we open our hearts to release love towards others. It is time in life right now to love, forgive and accept that we are all doing the best we can.

“We are here to connect with our soul!” -Linda Amato

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My suggestion to you is to look at the life your father shared with you as if you were still that child and he was the greatest gift on earth to you. Be that small child in awe of a dad that can do anything and do it well. Open your heart to the memories of laughter and fun. What have you learned from your dad that puts a smile on your face?

Be in delight of the times he held your hand maybe crossing the street. Was he the dad that taught you to hunt, fish, ride a  bike or drive a car? Was he the man who showed you how to hold a baseball bat, toss a ball or play hockey? Remember the times when you struggled and he was there to help you stand up again! He may have just come  home on Sunday with an apple turnover just for you! Does seeing an apple turnover today remind you of him? What reminds you today of the dad he once was that puts a smile on your face?

Was he the dad who walked you down the aisle on your wedding or gave a toast in your honor? Was he simply the man you looked up to as your hero and is not capable of being a hero in your eyes today because of illness or death? Are you carrying his fears as your own today? Know its time to release the past and hug tight to your heart the memories of love and joy that you cherished as a child.

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“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” -Reed Markham

My belief is that our fathers have a very difficult time being human because they have been taught to be strong, fearless and not to show their emotions. Dads have fears too! So please be gentle with your dad today and if he no longer shares this world forgive him his fears. As a daughter, wife, sister, and mother there are many men in my life that are fathers today that I cherish. I see the struggle within to express truth because of financial concerns, illness, and having to support their family. As women we expect their strength to support us in all situations but they have to be taught to know its safe to express love and show emotion from a young age. Maybe one day our father, brothers, husbands and sons will shed the tears that bind them.

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons!” -Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

At one time in my life I wrote many poems when I was struggling with understanding life myself. Poetry helped me heal my fears. Here is one I would like to share that I wrote the year after my dad went home to the spirit world at the age of seventy.

I AM AT PEACE

A lifetime we shared

I as your child

You were so mild

I treasure the memory

Like pictures in a book

And the wisdom you gave me.

My heart full of pain

My body hurt so

When you had to go.

The days filled with tears

The nights without sleep

For I wanted you near.

I approach the anniversary

A year since your death

With a calmness inside

I no longer need to cry.

A cleansing of my mind

My eyes are dry

As I now say, “goodbye!”

 Meditate. Pray. Journal.

www.LindaAmato.com

Being A Conscious Woman

“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”-Leo Tolstoy

As we approach the yearly day set aside to celebrate all the moms in the world, let’s extend love to all the women of the world! As we are born from our mom it is that aspect that we honor. We as women are sacred because we give life, we nurture and nourish. Our bodies are the temple to the children who choose us.  How have we forgotten our greatness? How have we forgotten our truth? How did  we become victims of a society that we as the temples of life gave birth to?

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” –    Nora Ephron

Being an avid reader and student of life I find it extremely upsetting to be reading the stories of abuse, fear, guilt, shame and women that feel they are victims today because of their relationship with their mother. We are more than that when we accept our truth, live our truth and gather together as community.  When we share our stories, we heal. When we forgive ourselves, we heal. When we choose to forgive our moms, we heal. When we honor our moms because within we know they did the best they could, we heal. As a society of healed women our daughters will become the goddesses they are born to be.

“Go ahead unleash your INNER GODDESS today. Embrace all that FABULOSITY that is amazing you…”

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Recently, I attended a gathering of women with my youngest daughter that allowed me to heal from that which no longer served me. The simple pain of a mom who did the best she could because of her own mothers fears, allowed me to do even better. I chose to be a conscious mother raising my children. There was an intuitive guidance that I received! A knowing to love unconditionally because I was setting an example. I knew I was being watched. There was this inner belief of mine that I did not own my children and all that was required of me was to listen, support, guide, be present and there for whatever needs were required of me. Even today I have learned that they still need me to be there for them, to simply listen when they need to vent. Being blessed to also be a stay at home mom I loved every aspect of being a mom.

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I have been given the greatest of gifts by my children to know I did them well. I gave to them something that I did not receive from my mom but which I am aware today she never received  from her mom! I forgive myself for at one time judging her. Today, I forgive her for not being able to do as I needed her to do. I thank her for teaching me to be the mom I am today.

“A Goddess is a Woman Who Breaks The Mold. She’s Who She Wants To Be … And She Offers No Apologies.” -Lisa Marie Rosati

Life seems to be like a Ferris wheel that we all get on as women because of how we were raised. We need to know we can get off the Ferris wheel and remember who we are, not who we have been told to be. As a society we need to love our children especially our daughters unconditionally because they are also the mothers of our grandchildren! As a mother of two sons as well, I am aware of their love for me, and the tenderness and love they possess for the women in their lives. They will be fathers of my granddaughters that will be a goddess of tomorrow! I am witness to the fact that I have done well by them.

“It takes someone really brave to be a mother, Someone strong to raise a child, And someone special to Love someone more than herself. -Lilly

Ask yourself what example of love have you provided to your daughters? Has it been a conditional love of punishment and abuse or an unconditional love of joy, acceptance, support and encouragement! Release that which no longer serves you because it is not your truth. Share your inner being of love with your daughter no matter what it takes from you to release your fears. Be honest when you reflect on what type of mom you are when it comes to your daughter. Maybe it is time to forgive yourself for the choices you made in the past to connect with your daughter again.

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“Our daughters are the most precious of our treasures, the dearest possessions of our homes, and the objects of our most watchful love. -Margaret E. Sangster

Born in 1951 I am of the first generation that was not breast-fed due to the invention of formula. Could that have been the beginning of daughters separating from their moms. The relinquishing of truly being nourished at the breast of our mothers because society deemed it healthier to buy formula! I chose to breast feed my children and I am happy to see the young women of today returning to this simple true connection to their babies.

I believe we as women need to return to the belief that we are goddesses. We are perfect in the bodies we have. We truly possess a beauty because we are the temples for life. We must love our temples for we are setting an example for our daughters. There is no women’s body that is too skinny or too fat. Our bodies are beautiful no matter what shape they are in. My motto is to find that which creates freedom of thought.

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“Calm and still is the water, no birds are in the air, the sun rises slowly to its peak. Trees stand tall, ever so strong, love is never wrong.” -Linda Amato (1994)

I wish all the women of the world a very happy and loving Goddess Day!

Meditate! Pray! Journal!

www.lindaamato.com

 

LA BELIEVES

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In honor of Father’s Day …

The men in our lives begin their journey as little boys, grow up, fall in love and become fathers and then grandfathers one day. We love them and at times get very upset with them! How do we accept them as they are with their little quirks and ways that drive us crazy? This is the roller coaster ride of one of the main relationships in the lives of all women and men. Well, we did fall in love with them so they had something that caught our hearts. I imagine at times that my own sons would one day love their wives as they love me, and their sons and daughters, as the treasure they are because of the cycle of life. Women and Men on a journey of discovery stumbling and yet so filled with love that we think we know what is best for each other. Why do we get this idea in our heads that we need to change one another? We develop this constant complaining about one another but what are we really fearful of? I believe Father’s day is a day to fill our hearts with love for all the men in our lives because as women the first man we fell in love with was our dad and then our sons. Know there is a reason for everything and never forget you chose your dad and all that he could teach you. You might have chosen him maybe to teach him something.

I have always believed that men had the hardest path because of the responsibility of their lives; loving their woman and providing for their family is a constant. Women on the other hand just do what they do naturally, and nourish and nurture everyone with love. I marvel at the man who cooks and supports his wife. The man who takes the time to know his children. The man who communicates with love in his eyes. May the fathers in our lives and the boys and men that will grow to be fathers in the future take the time to nurture and nourish themselves so they can shower the women and chidren in their lives with love. Men please learn to open your hearts for we truly do love you even when you make us crazy! Women stop nagging your man and just do what you do best – love him!

Happy Father’s Day to the Men in our lives and may the memories of all our dads this year fill us with pride! Forgiveness is key to experiencing love so like the song says … “LET IT GO!”

PRAYE. MEDITATE. JOURNAL.

WWW.LINDAAMATO.COM