“A Journey for Two” is a story of courage, devotion and love. It shares a special time between a mother and her adult daughter as the two journey toward a life’s end. When I first met Pat, the storyteller and mother, she surprised me by sharing she had just finished my memoir, Letters for Grace. Then she offered me words of sympathy for my loss. Though I was prepared to listen and learn from her story, we instead began with her gift to me. Such unexpected generosity reminds me of an incontrovertible truth I have discovered over this past year: when bereaved parents are together, there is a common, empathetic bond that connects them. Authentic listening, generous words, gentle smiles, honest interactions and warm hugs are natural expressions of understanding that simply happen . . . without plan or expectation.
As with all journeys of change, loss or deep grief, those who travel common paths often build strong connections; they share a communal language to express events along their journey; they bond over a collective understanding of mutually endured experiences. And, the closer the travelers, the more heartfelt and lasting the ties; Pat and her daughter traveled together this way.
There are ancient religions, belief systems, whose premise is that our humanness is not simply our form or body, but something much more divine, guided by forces beyond our understanding, but always at work within the universe. As I recall Pat quietly talking about her daughter fading from their common life, I think of the complexity of loving connections between them. While Chris’ human body was failing, a vital, sacred relationship was growing. Mother and daughter created, laughed and cried together; they had courageous and forgiving conversations; they built tangible and transformative connections where beauty and love still thrive. Writer Anne Lamott calls hope a conversation. The ending conversations between Pat and her beloved daughter are surely the loving truths, the gifts, in which hope and grace thrive.
Pat’s story is now posted and available at www.janenicoletauthor.com. Just navigate to the menu on my homepage and hover your cursor on the Books tab to find the link to “Parents Tell Their Stories.” In “A Journey for two – in Courage and Love,” a mother shares her most difficult and treasured moments as she travels with her daughter toward the inevitable.