Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Easter Story

I would certainly agree with all who have put forth just how intense the energies on the planet have been lately. I have been feeling them, and been affected by them myself, and I’ve also been observing them in action in the world all around me and seeing how they‘ve affected others. These are certainly interesting times we are living in!

I am preparing to journey to New Mexico in a few days after having spent the winter in the crystal cocoon of snowy Alberta where my partner Ziggy’s home is. I have been working on transcribing some conversations held with nonphysical friends that I’ve been wanting to share, but have found that life keeps happening and I seem to be continually distracted so I haven’t finished what I’ve started as of yet, though I know I eventually will.

My nonphysical friends are continually present to me though, and after an incident that occurred in my experience last weekend, Easter weekend, they have been nudging me to focus on sharing this story rather than concentrating on transcriptions in the now. As was said to me, often there is far more potency in a shared human experience than there is in lofty words from a Being who is not presently engaged in the game of life on Earth. Oh, how they honor and appreciate us here playing the Earth game, because they know it is not always an easy one to play!

I have 3 children and my partner Ziggy has 5, so between us we have the joy of being parents to 8, the youngest now being 21 years old. All are ‘on their own’ and living their own lives, with the 2 oldest having families of their own now. We invited Ziggy’s youngest 3 sons, who live locally, to join us for an Easter meal, and we gave them the option of picking the time that would work best for everyone, so they decided to come out and join us last Saturday evening. We had a very fun time together and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Just as they were saying their goodbyes to us, the phone rang. It was my daughter Erin calling from New Mexico. She said she had debated about whether to call me or not because she didn’t want to worry me when there was nothing I could do, but she decided I would want to know that my younger son Tim had gone camping with a close friend, Sam, the day before, when the weather was 70 degrees F in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they all live. They were due back early that afternoon as Tim had a gathering to attend and Sam had to go to work, but they had never shown up. She and her other brother and their friends were concerned, especially as a storm had moved into the area overnight. They were getting drenched in rain in the city, but the higher elevations were getting snow. The favored camping spots in the Jemez Mountains an hour and a half away where the guys had gone, by Fenton Lake, are all at higher elevations.

All of these young people were acutely aware of other friends who had gone missing in a snowstorm in January of 2008 and had never came back. Two friends of my daughter’s from high school, one a very close friend who spent much time in our home during their growing up years, had headed off for a fun weekend of snowboarding in Wolf Creek, Colorado, planning to meet family for a dinner gathering that Saturday night. They had never shown up, and the story of the extensive search effort for them made national news in the U.S. They were well loved by many and there was much heartbreak at their loss. Their families continued to search for them after the organized Search and Rescue effort was halted. They spent 6 agonizing months in limbo before there was enough snow melt in the area for their bodies to be found at the end of June, giving them closure.

I have posted these young men’s pictures here. They were housemates at the time they died…both such handsome and fun loving guys. The dark haired fellow is Mike George and his friend is Kyle Kerschen. I didn’t know Kyle except through the stories my daughter told from school. They were in one class together in which Kyle would enlist the help of her good penmanship to write excuse notes for him that were supposed to be from his mother. Mike I knew and loved well because he was part of my own extended brood, living within walking distance of our house. I was enchanted by him from the first time he rang our doorbell while in grade 8 and I opened that door to him and his lively energy. His eyes sparkled with life even then. I was impressed by how he walked in after being invited to like he owned the place. I came to see as time went by that Mike owned every place he walked into, because he was comfortable in his own skin. I knew he was there to see Erin, but he spent time talking to me first, and walked right over to our living room piano when he saw it and sat down and started playing it. I recall wondering at the time…who is this kid?!

I got to know him quite well over the next few years of his hanging out at our place. There was always a crowd of kids who wanted to be where he was, because he was always where the fun was. He made everything fun. He mercilessly teased Erin’s younger brother, my son Tim, and Tim ate up the attention…allowing himself to frequently be thrown in the pool by Mike, or engaging in other antics for the good natured amusement of everyone present. I remember keeping a running grocery list going during those years of juggling my single parenting with working, and frequently would find myself laughing out loud while shopping when I read the ’additions’ to my list that had been written in in Mike’s handwriting.

My daughter felt like a fish out of water when she entered 8th grade as the ’new kid’ since I had just moved my family 2000 miles across the country for a new beginning a few years after their father’s death. New Mexico was a totally different world from the one we left behind in Connecticut, and it was especially hard on Erin because of the tender age she was at in her adolescence. Mike was one of the first friends she made, and she loved him because he encouraged her to ’Be your self, Erin! Just be who you are, no matter what anyone else thinks!’ He certainly lived this himself and it was such wonderful encouragement for my daughter. She has told me that she will always be grateful that Mike showed her so early in life how to live an authentic life and be true to herself, no matter what anyone else was doing or thinking.

I helped her take down her Christmas tree the day after she had learned Mike and Kyle were missing. We shared honestly with each other and neither of us had a good feeling about them being found alive and well at the time. Her angst came from the fact that she had gone out with friends to a karaoke bar the night before when they went missing in the storm, and it tore at her heart to think that they were freezing to death on a mountain while she and her friends were laughing and having such a good time.

My daughter has been to far more funerals than it seems one her age ’should’ have had to attend, and she’s experienced more death in her life than many people twice her age. She told me that Mike and Kyle’s funeral was the hardest one she has ever been to.

Her brother Tim is a lot like Mike in personality…and I would venture to say that some of his personality was shaped by his having grown up with Mike as an influence in his life. Tim lives fearlessly and does what he wants to do in spite of what anyone else may think or say. He’s a wonderful young man with a huge heart, an incredible sense of humor, and a good head on his shoulders. He bought his first season pass this year for snowboarding in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area, and he definitely got his money’s worth out of it. The loss of Mike and Kyle still being so acute made it challenging at times for Erin to not go into fear and worry when Tim would head off by himself to snowboard on a mountain when there was snow flying.

Mike and Kyle’s deaths impacted many, and I know that Tim’s and Sam’s friends were in that category. For all of it being a big city, Albuquerque has a small town feel to it in so many ways and it’s a place of deep heart connectedness. Mike and Kyle were sons of the city and were mourned as such, whether others knew them personally or not. The candlelight photo I have posted above along with their pictures is from the vigil that was held for them shortly after they disappeared in the storm. The large church could not handle the size of the crowd that showed up, and the throng of friends and family holding on to each other and hoping for a miracle spilled far out into the parking lot.

The hoped for miracle of them being found alive did not happen, and as a result, many have had to ponder the deeper mysteries of life and death and what our existence here is all about. My mother’s heart broke when the Wolf Creek area was continuously pounded by snow in the days after these young men disappeared, making it impossible for the search helicopters to get off the ground to keep looking for them. I cried numerous times while watching the news coverage and while spending time with the young people who were their friends and who reminisced about all the good times they had shared together.

So many people that I’ve loved in my own experience this lifetime have transitioned before me. Because of this, I have come to understand that there truly are no ‘accidents.’ Everything that occurs in our lives happens as a result of a soul choice. I know that Mike and Kyle, as well as all those others I’ve personally loved, chose on the soul level to move on to another experience beyond their human one and that all is well wherever they are in that experience. They have simply changed form from the human bodies we knew and loved them in. Those left behind grieve the loss of that form, and yet the soul essence is never lost…just missed as it has been known once it has transformed.

When Erin called me Saturday night, she told me that her brother Pat had already called the police, but that he didn’t know the license plate of Tim’s car. I didn’t either, but I thought that if I gave them the registration information, which is in both our names for a lower insurance rate, they would be able to get it from the Motor Vehicle Department, so I called the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office myself, which is the agency with jurisdiction over the Jemez Mountain area where they went camping. The officer I spoke with had previously spoken to my son Pat also. He said that since we didn’t know exactly where they had gone, it was too big an area to initiate a Search and Rescue. He affirmed that while the storm that had rolled in was bringing rain to many areas, the higher elevations were definitely getting snow. He encouraged me to trust that they were just using their common sense and staying put for another night because of the weather, and reminded me that cell phone coverage in the mountains is very spotty and this was most likely why no one had heard from them and no one could get in touch with them.

I spoke to one of Tim’s friends, another ‘other son’ of mine who has been part of our extended family since they met in the 6th grade and is also one of Tim’s housemates in the now. He and another friend knew the camping spots that Tim and Sam were fond of, and decided that they would drive up there to look for them. I cautioned them to be careful themselves in the weather, but also was so moved by their love for these friends of theirs. Mike and Kyle’s experience, as I’ve said, impacted so many. These guys decided to put their love into action and I’ve found that that’s frequently the place that miracles do happen.

It was 10 hours between the time my daughter first called me until I received another phone call. The Saturday night before Easter Sunday morning was a very long and sleepless night for me…my own ‘Easter Vigil’ of sorts. I lay awake in bed for hours trying not to let my mind run rampant with worst case scenarios. I focused on calming myself with my breathing…in, out, in, out, in, out. It helped.

My son Pat was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease the year after his father died when he was a child. Much of my own life after widowhood was shaped by his illness, and my diving into seeking to understand the mind-body-spirit connection in an attempt to assist him to heal and be whole again. My career in holistic health was a direct result of the experience I went through with Pat. I just about bent over backwards and stood on my head taking him from practitioner to practitioner in an attempt to get him healthy, and still when he was a teenager he had a relapse and became so ill that I realized he might die. And the bigger realization came when I finally saw that this had to be HIS soul choice, not mine. I wanted to force health on him because of how much I loved him and wanted him to continue to be here with me and the rest of us who love him. The greatest surrender of my life came in accepting that I had to let living or dying be his own choice. I am so grateful that he did choose to stay. And I am grateful for what I learned from my experience with him then. I put that into practice Saturday night as I contemplated the potential that his brother could have reached a soul directed exit point of his own.

I spoke to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office again early on Easter morning. They had nothing new to tell me, except that the roads in the Fenton Lake area were snow packed and icy. The officer I spoke to said that if I filed a missing persons report, it would activate more manpower to look for them, but suggested I wait until afternoon to see if they did make it home then since the storm was moving out.

About a ½ an hour later, Erin called to tell me that their friends who went looking for them had just called her. They had found them. Their car had slid off the road in the deep snow that had fallen in the Jemez Mountains and gotten stuck in a ditch. They had tried but couldn’t get it out themselves so they weren’t able to go anywhere and they couldn’t get cell phone coverage to call anyone.

I certainly felt the Easter energies of Resurrection and Rebirth myself when I learned that my son and his friend were okay on Easter morning. I was flooded with gratitude and with joy.

When I later heard more of the story of what had happened, I was also flooded with a sense of the new energy and what living in it means.

Tim and Sam could have had the worst night of their lives. Instead, they made the best of it. Tim’s car slid off the road not far from their camp site. When they realized they weren’t going to get it out on their own, they headed back there. They had warm clothing and firewood with them, and plenty of food and drink to last them another night. So they got a roaring fire going in the snow and proceeded to make the best of and enjoy the place they found themselves to be in that particular now moment of time, while considering what their options might be for the next day as far as getting themselves out of there.

Their friends found them just as dawn was breaking on Easter morning. They had encountered rain on the ride and were wondering what the problem could be that had Tim and Sam missing, as the roads were wet but not especially dangerous. Then they arrived in the lake/camping area and were greeted with a foot to a foot and a half of freshly fallen snow. When they found Tim and Sam, they were in no acute distress, and these friends were able to dig and tow Tim’s car out with their 4 wheel drive vehicle, which he was then able to drive back to Albuquerque.

I have marveled at the uniqueness of each individual’s experience in this Easter story. For me, 1800 geographic miles away from what was taking place, it was all about trusting the outcome and knowing that whatever it might be, it was soul chosen and in Divine Perfect Order. For Tim’s siblings and friends, it was about moving beyond a past trauma and taking what felt to be appropriate and inspired action from a place of love. And for Tim and Sam, it was all about accepting where they were at in the now moment, and making the best of it without knowing what was to come or how they would get out of the fix they were in…just trusting that they would. To me, this whole experience for all of us is so symbolic of what this ‘ascension journey’ is about.

My extended family had Rebirth and Resurrection this Easter. While we remembered, loved, and honored Mike and Kyle and the choice they made on the soul level to transition, Tim and Sam’s experience showed us that in the new energy, suffering and death do not inevitably need to precede resurrection and rebirth. Whatever experience we find ourselves living, suffering is always a choice. And joy is there to be lived and felt in any experience, too, if we choose it.

The other young men pictured here are Tim and Sam enjoying Nature as they so often do. While Mike and Kyle were missing, a wonderful young woman, Tona Williams, who is an artist, created the other picture I have posted of the mountain cocooning the two missing young men as we awaited word of their fate, and she sent this to me. I was so touched by the outpouring of love from people who didn’t know Mike and Kyle, but had heard about them through the message board I shared about them on. Tona framed her art and sent it to me as a gift. It has come to have new meaning for me with this Easter experience.

May you all feel Resurrection and Rebirth at work in your own lives in the now! I wish you a Happy Easter all year through!

No comments: