“There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
THE SIXTIES/THE DOCTORS’ WIVES
In 1967, I married a medical student, following my parents’ dreams and expectations. My husband Larry and I lived in Galveston while he completed medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch. We lived on the top floor of a very old Victorian house,
paying $55.00 a month rent and though the feeling didn’t last, it was maybe the only time in my life when I felt safe, protected from the world that had brought me so much pain. I remember a large and sunny front room where I painted and restored antique furniture that I bought at the salvation Army …it was a short lived time of peace: “Wake up in the morning with the sunshine in your eyes and the smell of flowers blooming fills the air” ~Mercy
Sometimes Irene and I took our babies to the beach…. and then Doug and Larry graduated. Overnight they went from Mr. to Dr…. Both of them had chosen to do their internships in Houston. Doug was going into Radiology, Larry into Surgery.
Though Irene and I were back in touch, it seemed to me that our lives, our lifestyles were now way too far apart to be able to communicate at all. [I was forgetting that Irene was brought up in a Hispanic family and also that she had spent years in Peru, providing medical care and holistic aid to the indigent and under-served people of Peru.]
Christmas is often kind of a sad time for me and this past year was sadder than usual because for the first time ever, I didn’t have money to buy gifts for my grandchildren.
But I had a little altar that Jody, my partner had made and I thought I would like to send it to Irene. I had no idea whether she would like it and even thought she might be offended by it….I think people sometimes connect altars with Catholicism and Irene is not Catholic though she was raised that way.
Nevertheless I had a feeling to send it and so Jody and I carefully wrapped it up and I took it to the post office and sent it off. It was very fragile with lots of clay roses and I kept tracking it but it wasn’t getting to its destination. Back and forth it went from Albuquerque to Denver. Well I thought to myself, this just shows how stupid and wrong I was to send it. So much for my intuition.
Finally after 3 weeks, after I had totally given up on it, it arrived..not broken in pieces but in perfect shape and Irene loved it. She called me and even ordered one for a friend and later she wrote: “ I meditate at it daily. The altar is in a place where I walk by and stop numerous times a day and send positive thoughts.”
I liked this thought and resolved to make more of an effort to do the same with my own altar.
And with my faith and trust coming back, I decided to make a slideshow showing the creation of the altar that Irene had ordered. I had only made a slideshow once before but it came back to me and people seemed to love it.
And then this past week, a particularly difficult and frightening week for both me and Jody, I wrote to Irene and asked if she would please keep us in her thoughts.
She wrote back: “You and Jody stay in the altar along w the girls & their families, mom, dad, Bobby. I also have immigrants of all stripes and the White Helmets, a group in Syria that rescue people/children after bombings there. The list grows”
HOW AMAZING! Almost 50 years have passed since the medical school days and we reconnected through this little altar, this little altar that I almost didn’t send.
Just as in this quote from Taos Artist, Anita Rodriguez :
The altar….brings out the stories, the memories, the history, the continuity of life and the family. It unites”
I am in the process of starting a store on Etsy for Jody’s altars and I will be adding more all the time as well as other sacred art pieces that he creates. I named the store LA CASA DE ROSAS because of a vision and because almost everything Jody creates has roses..lots of them usually.
Below is Love Can Make You Happy, a song from the 60s, the song that takes me back to those early days when I was first married and lived in Galveston…. And as always:
I write these blog posts from my heart..about my work with the First Nations People, about my teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, about my time spent with terminally ill patients, about life off the grid in northern New Mexico. Though in some ways, I write for myself, I try always to share information and experiences that may be helpful to others, that are universal.
If you would like to contribute to to the continuation of these posts, there are 2 ways: the donate button on the side of this post or my gofund me page
*Thank you to all my friends who have contributed and donated, kept me in their thoughts and meditations and made it possible for me to get through these past couple of years