Early one morning, I woke up from a deep sleep. The thought on my heart was, “What is normal? Where is normal?”
I lay there for a moment thinking about these questions, wondering about the tears that seemed to come to my eyes during the day, for no reason. I realized something that morning, that’s what we do… We think about the question – we get hung up on it, all teary-eyed or angry, and we miss the answer.
As Spiritual Beings, our normal is “Goodness.” We want it, and the heart knows. But so many times our humanness is at odds with our spirit.
Let us remember our normal goodness. Peace. Grace. Love. Compassion. Oneness… Yes, it warms us to say the words but they become real only with action. This is the morning song and our intuition knows it.
Rest in it. Listen to it. Come back to the normal of our spiritual self. That is what will heal us.
For the first four weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine, I was feeling quite down – which is unusual for me. For over ten years, I had been devoting nearly my entire life to the pursuit of Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an epic film project. Through incredible ups and downs, from hard situations to truly inspirational wonders, the journey has been life-changing.
And, just as the project was ramping up, moving closer to the next phase, a pandemic took over the world. Yes, a powerful set of brakes hit the road and absolutely everything stopped. Not only did it stop, there was also no game plan for when, where, how we would all continue… If there’s one thing I’ve learned along this path, Creation has its own timing about things, and that is one of the biggest lessons!
So, as I said, the first month was shocking and scary, and all I could do was try to protect those I care for and believe for a better world to come.
As those weeks went by, with so much time to think, I began to look at other ideas. Last year, I had started the novel based on the Sacajawea screenplay but had not gotten very far, only a few pages. I was too busy trying to produce and get the funding for the film.
As I read the script again, it seemed like now was the perfect time to pour myself into the story by writing the book. So, from my office on the second floor, I began to get serious about this endeavor.
Now, writing a novel requires a very different writing technique than writing a screenplay. And, I had the idea of writing Sacajawea’s thoughts in present-tense, so we can understand her more deeply and experience who she was from her own heart. This decision has turned out to be quite difficult going back and forth in tenses, but I feel it will be compelling and moving.
I will be sharing with you some of the FIRST DRAFT of this book as I write. I am on page 25 at the moment with many pages to go. But, I am inspired and I believe this is the very next step on the journey to share Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, and her message of Love, Peace, Oneness and Respect for the Earth, with the world.
Here is the beginning of her story that I want to share with you.
Creation has a way of slowing us down, making us uncomfortable at times, and giving us an opportunity to awaken.
October 12, 2016 — My husband and I had always wanted my parents to live with us in their senior years. So, in 2001, we decided to add on a master suite and living room to our home for mom and dad, as they were in their late 70s. Unfortunately, mom had bladder cancer and dad suffered with Parkinson’s disease.
With the anticipation, both parents had a renewed excitement for life, especially dad. He was at the construction site nearly every day, even helping out as he could by overseeing and working in the yard.
When the day came for them to move in things were actually pretty good. Dad even had a little hope for the future and mom was starting a treatment for her bladder that had a good success rate.
We had such a wonderful time living together, though sadly, it was short-lived. After only two months, dad began having difficulty feeling his arms. We asked his neurologist and were told it was just a symptom of his condition and Parkinson’s drugs. We felt helpless because we were not sure what was going on and he was very worried and beginning to be extremely depressed again.
We tried to get answers from all of dad’s doctors, but for some reason no one could, or would, help us. Out of desperation one evening we went to the emergency room. He sat in a wheelchair for several hours, teary-eyed and frightened. Finally, we were told to take him home.
That night, my dad’s greatest fears were realized and he had a massive stroke, leaving his right side limp (his left hand had the Parkinson’s tremor) and making him unable to eat, drink, move, or talk. What haunts me even today is that if he had been in the hospital they could have given him immediate attention and it may not have been as debilitating. That night at the hospital his Living Will was not followed and a feeding tube was inserted to keep him alive, so he, subsequently, lay in a bed nearly motionless for 17 months.
For eight of those months, he was in a care facility and my mother went to see him each and every day, a huge strain on her physically. One morning when she arrived he was crying out loud, wailing. She struggled to calm him when one of the caregivers came in to tell her what had happened. Apparently, the fan was left on my dad all night and no one ever came to cover him up. Of course, he wet himself and even though he cried for hours he could not get anyone’s attention. This picture torments me still as I see him shivering through the long hours of the night.
My husband and I decided right there that we would bring him home, and we were committed to his care. We also knew the daily drive for mom was getting too much as she had started chemotherapy.
For nine months Matthew, mom and I took care of dad in our home, along with a daily caregiver. We did all we could do to make him comfortable and had many experiences that were both rewarding and trying.
Dad’s only way of communicating was a gentle squeeze with his left hand (meaning “yes”). To share one example that meant a lot to me, dad was agitated when I was going to clean him. I came around the bed and took his “good” hand in mine. I said, “Dad, I know this is uncomfortable for you, but I want you to know it is an honor for me to do it.” He began to tear. “Dad,” I said looking into his eyes, “would you do it for me?” Suddenly, I felt his hand tighten around mine. He began squeezing very hard, actually moving my hand up and down as tears flowed onto his cheeks. That was the last he stressed over me cleaning him and I really felt it had brought him some peace.
There were also times when I didn’t act quite so “noble.” The caregiver had to leave early so it was up to me to set up dad’s liquid food for the night. I had done it before, but I was feeling rushed and when I turned the bottle over the weight flipped it out of my hands. Liquid splattered down the wall and carpet. I impatiently said, “dog gone it!”
I saw those eyes looking up at me, staring. I felt bad, there he was laying motionless, completely dependent on me, and yet, I am upset? But, before I could say I was sorry, his eyebrows lifted as they did when he smiled, though his mouth stayed flat. Up again they went, and for a second I saw that old twinkle. All I could do was smile back. He didn’t know it but he led me that day to a different place – well, maybe he did know.
Dad passed away on October 22, 2003, at 80 years of age. He was such a sweet, gentle man. I deeply cherished him in every way and I’m so blessed he was my dad. As his caregiver, I realized more about what matters in life and believe the things we do to help others truly changes everything in the world.