You may have noticed the Countdown Clock at the top of my sidebar flipping through the days until Dex visits us from the Philippines. I have wondered how best to explain to those of you who have not read prior posts about the Mother-Son relationship that has developed between Dex and me. It seems that sharing the guest post I wrote for Riyadh last year is the most heartfelt expression to describe the awe I have at the upcoming week with Dex. I will share more in the weeks ahead, but for you to catch up here are links to past posts about Dex:
- Post on October 26, 2008 - at the end of a long post in which I gave blog awards to favorite bloggers, the final one went to Dex for his blog Thirty Thousand Fishes. This is what I wrote:
And now this last award goes to Dex. I began this blog in February 2008, and found Thirty Thousand Fishes in the first couple of months of blogging, in those early stretches when the blogosphere opens a whole new world to the unsuspecting neophyte.....when this one, then that one catches your fancy and some of them win your favor, and a few your devotion. A comment here and there, shared interests and mutual admiration, then friendships are formed.
But then there was this: a whisper of recognition soul-to-soul, a son-mother kind of recognition, tender openings, filmy reflections, a vulnerability I feel now in sharing these words that are only a glimpse into something I am not able to fully express just yet.
The sampling from Thirty Thousand Fishes posted here simply shows how complex life's pain can be, how, if expressed honestly, it moves beyond personal to something universal, and how complexity sometimes collapses into pure heart-song.........
Mom? he wrote in April. Yes, anak, I will be Mom to you.
- Post on February 13, 2009 - my Valentine birthday wishes for Dex (this post contains a photo of him)
- Post on April 24, 2009 - in which I wrote about Dex having passed the Philippine Bar and how we were on the phone together when the passing list was posted online (this post contains a postcard from him). He has since then begun his second blog The Fledgling Lawyer.
Here then is the post I wrote for Riyadh's 100th post last year, with minor revisions. It all makes for a long post but it leads to a final six paragraphs that bring me full-circle to my thoughts behind realizing the dream of meeting Dex in person. I ask your patience and thank you for reading on:
It's All Thought
I have had such writer’s block since accepting Riyadh’s wonderful honor to compose the 100th post at his blog. Many fragments of ideas came to mind during the past week and they lived in my head for minutes, sometimes a day, then scattered with my panic at the realization that the words I place here must have special meaning. After all, this is different than writing posts for my own blog. I’m quite happy with some posts there, less so with others, but they pass my inspection because they are my thoughts and they are representative of my mood at the time I prepare the post for publication. But how to appropriately celebrate with words the occasion of a 100th post at the blog of one who has become important to me, that is a different task altogether.
As I pondered what to write my mind kept returning to one idea and one person – actually, to a concept shared with me by one woman…..shared some four years ago about a year prior to her death at age 82.
Her name was Bette, which was what I called her the first time I met her after I married my husband, Michael. He called her “grandma” and that was what she preferred from me also. But she wasn’t really even his grandmother, not by blood. Also, she was closer in age to my mother than my two deceased grandmothers, and she told me years later that I was the daughter she never had.
The roots of the relationships are a bit complicated, so beginning with this photo of Bette should help make sense of it all…..mainly because she would tell you, as she told me, that it signifies when her life truly began.
This ethereal shot captured Bette as she looked when Stan, the love of her life, asked her to be his bride. There is an engagement photo of him taken the same day, dressed in his army uniform. He was a young widower, his first wife having died in childbirth. Their twin sons survived and they were around three-years-old when Bette and Stan married. Thus it was that this beautiful young woman, freshly graduated - with honors - from college in Arizona, became stepmother to his boys…..her boys.
When grown, one of those twin sons married a young, divorced woman with two boys: my husband, who was in grammar school at the time, and his toddler brother. In a nutshell: Bette was the stepmother of Michael’s stepfather.
Bette’s husband died just as Michael and I were getting together, some 15 years ago, and I never met him. She loved him so passionately that she truly did honor him every day, even after his death. She, Michael, and I became very close…especially after my mother’s death in 2000…and she shared with us some stories of the beginning of their love that she never told another soul. She knew those sweet secrets were safe with us. They still are and will always be.
In her last year as her health failed Bette loved having us come to her apartment to go over old documents, photos, and to hear the stories behind them. At the end of one of our last visits she took the two glorious framed engagement pictures off of her bedroom wall and, with a rather halting thrust, gave them to me, saying only, “Take them.”
We never knew how deep or personal she might want a conversation to be, so we had usually let her take the lead. But during one serious exchange, before she was moved to the hospital/hospice floor of her senior living center where liquid morphine ceased any real conversation, Michael asked her if she thought she would be reunited with Stan when she died, what she thought happens afterwards……
IT'S ALL THOUGHT, she said without hesitation.
We each have our own beliefs and ideas about what happens after death, based on different faiths or the absence of faith. The absolute truth is that none of us knows for sure. Yet one of the true wonders for those of us alive on the Earth at this time is our connectedness via a technology that allows us to share our beliefs and ideas about limitless topics….. to know one another, basically, through Thought.
Without ever laying eyes on one another, without sharing the same religion or race or gender or lifestyle, without ever sharing a meal or celebrating a holiday in the presence of one another, without ever giving a consoling hug or offering a cup of tea or listening to live music together or showing a new painting or the next chapter of a book we may be writing or walking around a brightly-lit city at night together after hours of fun, without ever physically extending a helpful hand during a move, without paying a visit to cheer one another at the hospital or attending the funeral of a parent of a blogging friend, spouse, child, childhood friend, without ever stepping foot on the continent where our confidant lives, without ever having taken a photo of one another or celebrated a birthday together, not knowing what each of our homes looks like room-by-room or the feel of the atmosphere in another’s town or city, without ever having heard the voice of one who has become like a brother/sister/best friend/soul mate/mom/dad/son/daughter, or – as is the case with Riyadh and me, nephew and aunt – and is the case with Dex and me, son and mother....without any formal introduction or common roots or life experiences or shared geographical location, we are forging new ways of sharing and caring for one another not even dreamt of by those who came before our Time.
I believe we are involved in a new Renaissance, an organic system growing within a technological framework, a next important step in our evolving and growth. For the first time in history, what Bette expected to discover after death essentially applies to the here and now, not the hereafter of heaven and hell.
IT'S ALL THOUGHT, she whispered.......
For us alive now, the manifestation of Thought has the power to enhance and transform our lives, and it may ultimately determine the future of our planet.