Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sacred Journey - Over the Rainbow

“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” - Henry David Thoreau

Landscape with Rainbow - Joseph Write
Oil on canvas, c.1795
Derby Museum and Gallery, Derby UK

I've just returned from a very long day Kansas City, just in time to post some thoughts about the sacred this Sunday.
I'll be brief, since it's both late, and I'm exhausted (not to mention still transitioning to Daylight Saving Time).

My sweet momsie was admitted into hospice care on Saturday, far earlier than any of us had anticipated. Evidently, she is ready to make the sacred journey to the other side of the rainbow,
and though she spent a lifetime sacrificing for her six children,
the time has come for her to put her wishes first.

She wants no more poking and prodding, no more physical
therapy, no more treatments, and no more pressure from her
loving children to keep on trying for our sakes.

I understand.

Today I observed the most caring and compassionate health care workers on the face of this beautiful earth...hospice nurses. 
These women (I've never seen a male hospice nurse...
I wonder how many there are) tended to my mother's needs
with gentle kindness and sensitivity, and indeed,
treated the whole family with the same regard.

Each one spoke quietly, respectfully, and knowledgeably, answering our questions with great sympathy. They patiently listened as my mother tried to express her needs.
They sometimes read her mind and knew
just what would make her more comfortable.

I am in awe of these women who usher patients and their families on this sacred journey, and I am grateful for their loving leadership.

This is the beautiful Eva Cassidy singing "Over the Rainbow" just ten months before malignant melanoma claimed her life at age 33.


  1. i feel your pain... And I love this version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow"...And I also love Eva and have this cd........So love you....

  2. You are in my thoughts, Jo. People tend to know when the pain that treatment puts them in overshadows the quality of their day. Hospice will keep Mother comfortable.

  3. My heart knows what your heart is feeling Jo. I am so sorry! I send love and prayers for the days to come. I extend my arms around you. Love Donna

  4. This is so beautiful, Jo. Your posts are always beautiful but this one shines with some kind of beautiful gold light. Even though I've experienced the loss of family, somehow I still can't quite grasp all that you must be feeling. I am here for you. Bless you, your family and your mom for moving forward with compassion and respect. No one can do better than that. Much love to you.

  5. I've known many male hospice workers. During the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco I volunteered at the Maitre Centre that was staffed almost entirely by men. During my internship in Baltimore, I worked at a hospice that was staffed almost half and half by men. It's amazing work that calls upon a very particular kind of person. In my experience, gender was not the deciding factor, but rather some kind of clarity of heart/mind, a clarity I can rarely ever muster. I am so glad your mother is surrounded by these clear hearted people. Shalom.

  6. Jo, I am crying for you as I write and listen to that soothing song, as I remember the sweet thoughts of my own mom and recall those days at the end. I miss her so very much, but my heart smiles as I remeber the ...... well ALL those wonderful things you say about your mom. She was all that and now I believe that only after she has passed did she have the power to really give me some of those qualities. You may soon know what I have just told you. My heart goes out to you right now for your sadness and impending sorrow but I also know that the final ceremony will bring blessings to you from people you had no idea were touched by your mother. Later, your life will be drawn to emulate those gifts she spent a lifetime sharing with you. I wish you much love and strength and listening.

  7. I'm so bouyed by these comments. Whether one or two words, or many thoughts, I feel the love contained inside each one.

    Deepest thanks to each of you.

  8. Jo, a beautiful post, that speaks to all of us that have lost a parent or see that inevitable loss moving closer every day. My thoughts are with you and your family as you begin the process of letting go of your beloved Mother. Love, Kathy

  9. Thanks Jo for the privilege of being on this journey with you. It is very generous for you to share your thoughts and feelings at this time. I feel so honored to be invited. Thank you.

    The video of Eva Cassidy seems perfect for the post. I have no doubt that you'll feel the essence of your mother rejoice somewhere over the rainbow.

  10. Kathy, thank you for your eloquence. I love the idea of us letting go of our mother. It feels very much like that.

    Dubby, It's my honor to have you and others by my side at this time. I think you're right that Mom will be rejoicing when she reaches her destination.


  11. Sending you wishes for peace and acceptance as you embark on this journey with your mum.

  12. Thank you for the perfect wish, Pondie. ♥

  13. Oh, Jo, I am so sorry... Your Mom is indeed in good hands, though. Hospice workers are guardian angels in disguise. I had a good friend who was a hospice nurse, and oh my goodness, what a kind person.

    I wish your Mom God speed. "May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest." ~~ Song of Athene

  14. dear jo,

    i was so sorry to read this about your mother. it sounds like she is in very good hands and that must give you some measure of comfort. my mom had very good hospice care at the end of her life and I will always be grateful for that.

    sending loving thoughts and prayers to you both♡


  15. Love and prayers. xoxo It is good to know you are in caring hands.

  16. Oh goodness, I feel quite silly and selfish for ranting on in my blog post today the way I did. As your post has reminded me, there are much greater and sadder things going on in the world. I am sorry for you and your family, you are in my thoughts this week.

  17. Dear Jo, Amanda, Linda, and Burkes,

    I'm so glad I checked in before climbing into my fold away bed. Your comments lift me up and comfort me.

    This is a very difficult time, but one filled with love and peace as well as the sadness.

    Thank you very much for the kind thoughts and wishes.

  18. Sending love and good thoughts for your dear mother, Jo. xx

  19. Thanks very much, Tess. ♥


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