Saturday, February 16, 2013

It is her birthday today 16th February 1906.

This is my Mother.
She is now wheeling around in heavenly places.

It is her birthday today
16th February 1906

I feel good about her.
I know that some people have lingering 'not OK' feelings
about the lives of their parents ........
about the loss of their parents - 
for many-many reasons.

I delight in her/memories of her.


All four sons were with my Mother when she died in hospital. 
I held her hand until she stopped breathing. 
It was a special time. 
It was beautiful in so many ways. 
Sad and distressing - yes 
but a privilege.

Before she died .........
I was working in the East End of London. 
Working gangs of kids giving my all. 
Beyond breaking point. 
Demanding it was.
Giving it was. 

While all at the same time... 
my mother was about to enter hospital
to have both her legs amputated. 
One above the knee.
One below the knee.

Here I was in East London 
in the most deprived community in the nation
working with beautiful humans 
some who were deep into crime
and enjoying violence, 
while my mother was due to enter hospital
over 200+ miles away.

One evening I was in my usual place in the Club.
I was sat near the snooker table. 
Back to the wall. 
I always sit with my back to the wall.

The young humans I worked with
had heard about my mother's situation, 
and of what was about to happen. 

I was subdued that evening,
not my usual bustling,
bouncy and verbal self.

As I sat with my back to the wall
near to the snooker table, 
one of the toughest of the gang members 
slowly walked around the table 
a few of times passing me each time. 
Walking ever so slow - 
walking ever so close - 
but not stopping.

Then, as he walked past me again, 
he just gently stroked my hair away from my forehead 
and walked on.

Then, at that point, is when the sobs rose from my chest 
and exploded in my head. 
I felt it... that one act of beautiful tenderness.
As I click these keys now, tears again fill my eyes.

I choked because I was at a depth of vulnerability. 
I felt it deeply and personally I connected with my deepest feelings.
Also it was because I was the silent partner 
in an act of non-verbal sensitivity. 
Gentleness and kindness pouring out of an inarticulate frame, 
of a tough and violent young man in his early twenties.

I learned a lot from that incident of care. 
That incident was not a chosen moment of my vulnerability.
But I learned that it is a mistake to see vulnerability as a weakness.
Vulnerability is all about disclosing the authentic me.

Since then I have chosen, 
and tried my best, 
to reveal my vulnerability. 
Not because I am submissive (instead of assertive) 
or in Child ego state (instead of Adult ego state).
It is part of the process of me 'telling you who I am'.
It has driven my sensitivity towards 'the least' 'the underside' 
and many beautiful humans I spend time with regularly 
(who some say have 'special needs' )
.......... .......haven't we all?

So with the people we work with 
- some people call them clients, 
and those we work alongside 
- some say colleagues ..... 
it seems to me that we need to practice 
the naked act of sharing when we feel life experiences 
...... both the roses and the thorns.
Beautiful Imperfection ........................

Vulnerability is a strength not a weakness.

Tears come to my eyes
yet again
as I read my own words .......
......for so many reasons ..........