April 30, 2007

Para Mi Mama

The Journey Home

A year ago today, my mother passed away. A year ago, I felt like part of my soul was ripped out from me. The pain was unbearable. When a parent dies, everything changes - including you. The first year of grieving is the hardest. I remember this from when my Papa died in 1992. Nothing is ever the same again. And for a daughter to lose her mother - well, it's life-changing. Our loss has created an emotional wound, but it is a wound that is healing over time. I'm working on this pain of my loss to be transformed into a challenging new beginning in my life.

I try to think not just of what I've lost, but also of what I still have that my mother has given to me - and also my children. I remember my mother as someone with remarkable strength. I remember my mother as someone who lived a rich life with wonderful, eclectic interests. I remember my mother as a blazing light that touched everyone who came into contact with her. This is the legacy that she has left me with.

I have learned that one can never be prepared to lose their mother - regardless if there was a long battle with cancer, or any other disease.
There are days when I fall into the Depression stage of loss, but those days are becoming less and less and instead, the days of Acceptance are becoming more frequent. My belief in what happens in the afterlife and where I believe she is now, comforts me.

Death may have ended my mother's physical life, but it has not canceled it. She will always be my mother, and I will always be her daughter. She will always be a part of who I am, and the relationship I have with her will go on forever.

SUSAN SEDDON BOULET was one of her favorite artists. The beautiful piece above is titled, The Journey Home, which hung above my mother's bed. Boulet also died after a long struggle with cancer at the age of 55.

Below, I'm sharing some of the many beautiful things people had to say at her prayer service, including her Eulogy, which was given by her life-long friend. Please take a moment to listen to the song played at her service - per her request. "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.


6.23.1951 - 4.30.2006


“When the road ends, and the goal is gained, the pilgrim finds that he has travels only from himself to himself.” - Saytha Sai Baba

"Carmen realized this teaching,the last year of her life. The beginning of Carmen´s pilgrimage on earth were years marked by much struggle, always trying to please those who loved her and for the same reason trying to desperately excel in all she did. She started her piano studies while in high school, and became a very good pianist making up with lots of perseverance and hard work for the lost years. Whatever she set her mind on she would accomplish and nothing that got in her way would stop her. She had a special talent for writing, prose and poetry, and was an avid reader. Her mother, Blanca, was always by her side, giving Carmen what she thought was best for her, that was her way of loving her daughter.

She wanted to mother 16 children but in God´s wisdom was given only three. She knew she had a lot of love to give yet as most human beings, did not quite know how to accomplish such a feat. She married Don, the father of her children, Andrea, Donovan and Eric, and for the first time in her ife, was intensely happy. The birth of each one of her children also filled her with great joy.

In the school of life where the teacher is God , Carmen was given the opportunity to show her strength and will in every phase. She underwent much hardship and suffering, as well as moments of joy and excitement. But the hard lessons made her start her quest for God and comprehend that the gift of life has two purposes: to know oneself, and to serve others. So Carmen started searching, in her search she decided she wanted to be a humanist. When she told me that she wanted to study Humanism in College, I didn´t understand what she was talking about. Yet she was already very focused, and became an activist in social movements, ecological movements and political movements. She wanted a better world, equal oppotunities for all, governments who would really serve their people, a world conscious of the the home they live in - Earth.

She joined many spiritual groups in search of self-fulfilment and inner peace, organized metaphysical fairs, became involved in healing with alternative medicines and had a great interest in the wisdom of the American Indians. She was aware that God is Unity and therefore studied different religions, spiritual movements and was active in some.

She took every course she could to help her clarify the whats and whys of a Human Existence, Creation, the Universe and God. In her search for love, the reason for every human existence, she fell many times but was always able to get up. Finally she understood that, that kind of love was not what she was looking for. She knew that what she really wanted was a more sublime love, her grandchildren taught her this. She said that Dominique showed her what unconditional love was, Jay Matthew, Alana Michele, and Serena opened up her Heart. And she was very excited, awaiting the birth of Sophia Rose, worried that she would not be able to be with Andrea when she was born. She was not there for the birth, but God gave her the opportunity to meet Sophia Rose.

The last year and a half of Carmen's life, she spent knowing herself. She understood that her incessant search for Love was the search for something that would fill the void that every human being feels. She was a follower of Sathya Sai Baba, and decided to live His teachings which say that Spirituality at a human level is simply getting rid of our bad qualities, our internal enemies.

She started her purification and brave, she would write and tell me about her Self Inquiry, her dreams and visions. She recognized her bad qualities, accepted them and worked on them. She knew that her pain and suffering were purifying her Heart and towards the end realized that the reason for some of her actions, attitudes were a lack of Self Love. At this point she was given the opportunity to see the Beauty within her. She saw the documentary, “What the bleep do we know” many times and really understood it for she was living it,”Everything we see in others is but a reflection of ourselves, our prejudices and preferences.”

I am very proud of Carmen for having tried so hard, for never giving up, for having given so much love, for having had the courage to commit mistakes and learn from them, and for never being mediocre.
Her life experience is a teaching for all of us."

-Vera Alvarez

How I Will Remember Carmen

"I will remember Carmen for the way she laughed in her own quiet, but grand way. The color of her hair – the various shades of reds and auburns, changing as she changed. The acceptance she gave. The peace she offered. Never questioning, never judging. Letting one be themselves no matter what. The smells of her candles and her incense. The smells that comforted her became the smells that now comfort me. Her love for music, peaceful and serene. Chimes, flutes, and beautiful sounds. Her love for music – classic rock, upbeat tunes, happy songs – the kind that create great memories.

Her fascination for learning, reading, reading, and more reading. Her wall of books where she had read every one. Her crystals, placed intentionally, beautiful pieces of cheer and meaning, that made her happy. Her welcoming nature, how she helped people in times of need, opened her home to those without. The way she drove her 4Runner in the desert – full force - “Buckle your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.”

She taught me the things of peace. Meditation. Grounding. How not to sweat the small stuff. She taught me about the stars. Where my absolute favorite memories are where we spend many nights waiting out in the desert on a plateau, gazing up at the stars, seeing the galaxy, feeling the warm wind on our faces, sitting in silence and completely enjoying the moment.

This is how I will remember Carmen."

-Yvonne Coffey

“I’m Dominique’s Nino, and a friend of the family. When I was around 17, I got to know Carmen and she took me into her home. As a young man, searching for things - just trying to find myself - she helped me find myself. It took a long time. I’m still doing it now. But she was a part of that process.
I’ll miss her…and I want to thank her so much, for all she did for me.”

-Carlos Elizondo

Reading from Mother, by Maya Angelou

It is also true

I was created in you
It is also true you were created for me
I owned your voice

it was shaped and tuned to soothe me.
Your arms were molded

Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.
The scent of your body was the air

Perfurmed for me to breathe.

Mother, I learned enough now

To know that I have learned nearly nothing.
On this day
When mothers are being honored,
Let me thank you
That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery
Not bring you to

Discard me like a broken doll
Which had lost its favor.
I thank you that
You still find something in me
To cherish, to admire, and to love.

I thank you, Mother.

I love you.

-Eric Gaudin


Dominique said...

Carmen was a very confident, indepentdent, loving, wise mother and grandmother and she played the biggest role in our family. I believe she has finally completed her goal in her life. She taught me about peace, meditation, knowledge of being an open minded person, religion, and purity in my soul. She taught me the difference between positive and negative and help me improve my choices in my life.

One time, she told me I was one of her favorite grandchildren, a multi-talented, creative, confident grandson. My grandmoher and I shared similar intrests, our love and being aware of our common enemies: Ignorance, Prejudice, Immaturity and Hatred.

Without her, I don't know what I will become in the future. When she died in April 30, losing someone you beloved is like celebrating important events without her being around. Now God shines His divine light on her free soul. Death may have take her, but her internal spirit will watch over us.

Right now, I am writing my fantasy book for her.

May the Dawn shine upon you!
The Dragons shall watch over you!

-Dominique Gaudin (A.K.A Saint Psalenos, the protagonist of my story)

Yvonne said...

I can't believe it has already been a year! It seems as though it were only several months ago when she "accidentally" told me you were pregnant :) Come to think of it, she was always the one to tell me you were pregnant. :) I think she liked being the one to break the exciting news.

I will miss her. I only have the best memories of her, and the time we spent together. I know she is curiously exploring the endless possibilities of the afterlife...and beyond.


Anonymous said...

Lo mejor de carmen es su capacidad de creer mas que la de pensar,no sera entendida atravez de la mente sino hasta que se conecte con su corazon,todavia escucho ¨oye corazon¨ y eso me mueve,,la escuchas?

Anonymous said...

How I remember Carmen....

When I first met Carmen she was a kindergarten teacher. We talked quite a bit about what that meant to her. She told me that she loved working with the children in El Paso... most of whom lived in two different worlds, Mexico and the US.

She said that it was a crucial time for them, kindergarten, and t her hope for them was that they would get the blessings of both worlds; although, sometimes it seemed to her as if they belonged to neither.

These are two recurring themes in my relationship with Carmen: giving love and hope to others and living in two worlds... during our time together these two worlds were the physical world --that soon took teaching away from her and forced her to focus on her body, and the spiritual world, where perfect Love transforms suffering into Wisdom.

There were times when she got discouraged... times when she would say "what difference can one person make?"

But she had a tremendous resilience that came from really knowing herself. She would bounce back. We had a joke between us, "The Burned Hand Syndrome" and it goes something like this...

Someone asked her once, why did she always reached out to help others? Didn't she know that when you reached out you hand to another you could get burned?

Then, she and I started talking about it. She said that Unconditional Love was not about the risks it involved, the difficulties it created or whether the other person understood the why's and wherefores of this Love.

The other person jumped in again saying something to the effect of "what difference can one person make?" a point of uncertainty which, as I said, she wrestled with inside herself on occasion.

I asked her then "Just how much does that matter?" and she laughed and said "Not at all." She said she would always continue to reach out to others, burned hands or not.

All my love to you, my Dear Ones!

Kate Bodi