Today my mom has been gone from me for 25 years now... I miss her so much, and can't wait to see her again... I wrote this 21 years ago.
ONE LAST GIFT......
I sit in the rocking chair I’ve had since my son (who heads to high school this year) stirred inside of me. I’m thinking about the similarity between the moments of birth and the moments of death.
Since the early eighties my work as a midwife has blessed me with being in the presents of over 175 different births, all unique in their own way, all individual experiences, and stories, all never before, never again little human beings entering into our world. Yet I’ve noticed, in all there differences they share a common thread. One I’ve heard hundreds and hundreds of times from other people who have been at a birth with a loved one, one which at times can be so powerful my body shakes trying to vent what my mind and soul are trying to comprehend. I can only describe that thread as being in the presence of pure love, the presence of God. At everybirth I’ve ever had the privilege to be at, that energy was there.
From birth to death, HUH ? If a question on a test asked for the opposite of birth, I would write death, wouldn’t you ? How can opposites have anything in common?
Four years ago I sat beside my mom as she lay on her death bed. I knew it would only be a matter of days before she would be leaving me. I spent what time I had left with her as productive as I could think of, I talked to her constantly, I recalled our life together, how she took such great care of me when I fractured my back at age 12, how much I love her and was so thankful that she was my mom, what a great cook she was, how we took care of each other when dad had a massive stroke, and how much I was going to miss her in my life. Even though she never spoke to me I know she heard me and was happy I was there. At 3:15 am her breathing slowed to 2 breaths a minute, and I knew she was dying. I was beside her, the room was dark and still, she opened her eyes (something she hadn’t done in days) I asked her “mom can you see a light?” she shook her head yes, “does the light feel good?” yes! I asked her to close her eyes and go be with the light, and then BANG!!!! I realized that I recognized this energy in the room, my mom didn’t take another breath, she was gone from me, and I was left with this energy I clearly knew as the entity that I’ve felt at all those births.
My mind, soul and heart struggled to absorb the beauty in the knowledge of this, birth and death are the same, not opposites. An entrance of a totally unique individual, into a new existence. Accompanied, guided by, and very important to our Lord.
What a beautiful and soul resting discovery, what a great last gift from my mom , to have been the mother that she was, allowed me to deeply love her, thus allowing me to feel totally her transition from earth to the presence of God.
I sit here now wondering if my mom knows of the last great blessing she has bestowed on me, and somehow my soul smiles and assures me she does.
Lisa C., CPM
Little children (2-3 yrs old):
When children "play" adult they:
Denver on the Nature of Zion
“The Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart, and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7: 18.) There were no poor among them physically; there were no poor among them spiritually. They did not compete, they cooperated. They did not envy, they shared. They did not pass a zoning law. I will tell you how to ruin Zion, how to keep it from coming, pass a zoning law. Decide you’re going to “police the neighborhood.” Start thinking you should have restrictive covenants so you can enforce views upon one another. The instant you start to regulate one another, Zion is gone. It slips right between your fingers. No man needs to say to another: “know ye the Lord; for they all are going to know him who dwell in Zion.” The new song to be sung presupposes the residents of Zion will know the Lord.
I thought about writing a fictional account of this curious city where those people who have several children live in big houses, while those who have no children live in small houses. In the place, no one has a job or schedule, but everyone works. One day the lead character gets up, walks outside, and notices that the lawn needs to be mowed. So he goes and finds a lawn mower and starts mowing. He mows at his house, then the next, then finds he has spent days mowing grass and is across the city to the other side. Everywhere he has been he found grass needing mowing, and he took care of it. He finishes after a couple of weeks, then returns to his house and says, “Hey, look at that the grass has grown again.” So he starts mowing again. He does this because he feels like mowing the grass at the time. He just wants to.
Then after the season, he notices there is only one person working in the local bakery. He had never worked in a bakery, but he decides to go see what it is like to work in a bakery—and he rather likes that. So he spends the next seasons in the bakery doing that. The following year he wonders whatever happened to the lawns. They have been cut since the spring, but he doesn‘t know who has been cutting them. He goes on his way to find out who has been cutting the lawn because he liked doing that and he has something in common with whoever is now mowing the grass. He would like to know how they like it and what their pattern for taking care of the work has become. He wants to ask them: “How did you do that?” On his way, he gets distracted by the orchard needing harvesting, so he spends that fall harvesting there.
So the story just ends, with what appears to be total chaos. A completely ungoverned society, where oddly enough everyone is at peace, but no one is in control. No one has a job, but everyone works, and the only thing that motivates any resident is what needs to be done. “Hey, let‘s take care of this” is the only motivation. And they do it for as long as they feel like doing it, and then they do something else. It is a story I‘ve considered writing, but have never done so. But now the idea for the story is in this talk, so you can write it in your own mind.
Our vision of Zion is regimented, regulated. We’re Mormons after all! We want to be controlled. A man cannot be saved unless there‘s a boss at the top. “This is your assignment.” “We are going to call you; we are going to sustain you.” “We are going to put your conscripted ass in this position and park it there and you must magnify that job!”—I am not sure anyone knows what “magnify” means, but I tell you, you better be calling attention to yourself so that everyone notices. We can‘t have the invisible lawn mower. We can‘t have the invisible baker. We can‘t have the invisible in harmony with everyone around them harvesting the orchard when it needs doing. Because this is the Zion Reich!—As soon as you do that, it is gone. It has slipped through your fingers. Zion is without compulsion. Zion will occur when the Lord brings again Zion. And it will happen perfectly naturally. But only among those who are fit to participate.
"If you see two children playing together, and they start to fight and hit each other, the children cry and run to their mothers. Hey, she hit me! One mother goes to talk with the other mother, The two mothers have a big fight, and five minutes later the two children are playing together again as if nothing happened. Now the mothers hate each other for the rest of their lives." (TMoL, p 172)
There has been discussion, by myself included wondering if eight may be too young to be baptized. Too young to have a convicted conciousness and feel a need for reprieve. When we think of our mistakes, they primarily have to do with whatever it is we are doing with our genitles But in light of this, perhaps age eight is also an object lesson for us, and what it is we ought to be concerned with. Little children are living as a holy spirit in heaven, their little feet being sweet and precious, and it's not until they believe what adults tell them, that they begin to cease being a little child, and begin the descent into hell with the rest of us, where they are welcomed. Yet we perceive something in them has been lost.