Urgency to Wake Up
I have been getting some strong messages from Spirit about the URGENCY of WAKING UP to every precious moment we have here. Having been married for almost five years, I am very grateful for my very kind and caring husband Sharbel. I am also so deeply grateful to God and the angels for my precious English springer spaniel Harry, who reminds me every day about the beauty of unconditional love and the fleeting nature of our time here.
I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, Sharbel. We are on what we call our “marriage adventure.” June 21, 2019 will mark our fifth wedding anniversary!
I wrote this blog post some time ago and was waiting for the right time to publish it. I hadn’t even realized that this was a Mother’s Day weekend when I decided to publish this three-part blog series. It makes perfect sense because the message of this blog is in complete alignment with the way my mother lived her life. It also resonates strongly with her philosophy of life.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I have been thinking a lot about my mother and missing her. She was an incredible inspiration for me. I so admired her amazing spirit, her zest and vitality, and her love of life. To learn more about her and our deeply bonded relationship, you can read a Mother’s Day blog post I wrote several years ago here.
My mother was the second eldest of six children and was the one who lived the longest. I am sure it was because of her love and appreciation of this gift of life and also because, despite so many challenges, she really enjoyed life and always focused on the blessings in her life. She grew up in the Depression. Her father left her mother for another woman, breaking her mother’s heart, along with hers and those of her siblings. She had such a difficult childhood and worked so hard throughout her life until she was able to retire. She had a number of surgeries and illnesses. In the last years of her life, she could only walk with a walker and had to use an oxygen machine to survive.
Her health was compromised by years of smoking even after she had quit so many years ago. She watched my father die a slow death from lung cancer. And she watched my stepfather transform and slip away day by day in his battle with Alzheimer’s. I could go on and on with the many heartaches in life she endured. And through it all, she rarely complained. She battled through every challenge in her life and was always hopeful for the next positive surprise life might offer her.
My mother, Ginger, enjoys an afternoon at Alstede’s Farm. Photo by Donna El Haber, 2010. All rights reserved.
There was nothing she loved more than dancing. It was dancing weekly at New York’s Roseland Ballroom near Times Square that revived her spirit after a serious surgery. When she had to have spinal surgery when her legs were going numb or when she fell and broke her hip and had to stay in rehab for a number of weeks, she never complained. And even though she could no longer dance, she was grateful to still be able to walk, even if it was with a walker.
When I was younger, she was good friends with a woman named Adele who used to watch me after school.
Adele had that same zest and love of life that my mother had. Despite not having much material wealth, she was very wealthy in her joy of life. It was something that came from within. She loved the sun and fresh air even on the coldest of days. And she loved parades. On several occasions she took me and my sister to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She was never so happy as when she enjoyed a wonderful outdoor free event.
She, too, had so many challenges in life. The victim of a terrible car crash the day before her son was getting married, she lost her husband in that crash and also sustained much damage herself. She was destined to walk with a cane and a limp after that. I was born shortly after that accident and became a kind of physical therapy for her as she pushed my carriage and learned how to walk again. Despite all that Adele suffered in her life, I always saw her smiling and laughing. She taught me how to play many card games and was my companion whenever I was sick.
It seems that some of us who incarnate know well the blessing, richness and value of life and honor it with gratitude no matter whatever else is going on in their lives. Unfortunately, I was more like my father, who often saw the glass half-empty and complained about what he missed out on in his life. It was understandable because in addition to being a child of the Depression, his father died of acute appendicitis one month before he was born, leaving his mother a very sad and distraught widow.
I always admired my mother’s inner strength and ability to recover her balance no matter what was thrown on her path. She always told me she believed someone was watching over her. On Mother’s Day, I am so grateful for her positive, uplifting spirit. When she could hardly breathe from her battle with COPD, she finally decided she wanted to return home to God. It was a difficult transition because, even at the end, she was still fighting to hang on to one more breath of life here.
I honor her, Adele and all the strong and resilient mothers who serve and served as powerful role models for the children they love so much. At my wedding, I played the Bette Midler song, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and dedicated it to her. There was nothing my mother wanted more than to see both me and my sister thriving and enjoying the gifts of our lives.
When I am feeling sad and demoralized about all the contrast in life, I can hear her telling me to take a vacation from worry. I can see her inviting me to sing and dance or go out in the fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature.
I can sometimes palpably feel throughout my day just how sweet and extraordinary the simplest of moments are, from watching Harry take sun baths on our patio and sniff the lavender bushes in our back yard, to seeing an inspirational sunset, or the beautiful clouds that form over the mountains near our home. Even the simplest moments of having a quiet dinner by candlelight or taking an evening walk in the mountains can bring a sense of peace and appreciation. There can be miracles of beauty and love in almost any moment.