|Posted on September 14, 2013 at 8:05 AM|
This deck is a 52-card deck published by Hay House.
It was about two years ago that my mom was diagnosed with Pick's Disease, a rapidly degenerative neurological disorder that in its later stages presents much like Alzheimer's Disease. While she was temporarily in a nursing home facility (she is now back home with Dad), we would visit Mom and walk her up and down the halls, or take her outside for a walk to the end of the street.
Can You Bring Your Cards?
During her first week there, Mom asked me if I could bring my cards to play with because she was bored. Being a strict Roman Catholic, Mom is a bit skeeved by my tarot decks (except for the Gaian Tarot, which gave us a great reading together). So I decide to bring my Self-Care Cards by Cheryl Richardson, a wonderful deck I often use at the end of my live tarot readings to bring out a single, unified "theme" or piece of advice for personal self-care.
Picking a Card...
I fan the cards neatly across her bed, and Mom is very careful about pulling just the "right" card. When she does, we peek to see what she holds, and the "SUPPORT" card reveals itself to us (image at the top of this blog).
As we turn the card over, we find that it says:
"Offer your support to someone. Experience the joy of serving others."
Who Needs Help?
"Someone needs help," I tell her. Should we walk around and see if there is someone here who we can help?
And Mom agrees. With her child-like literalism, Mom walks down the carpeted hall with me, stopping to ask every person she passes: "Do you need help?".... "Do you need help?" ... "Do YOU need help?" And while she is mostly ignored, she works hard at her task with intense purpose and grace.
As we approach the end of the hall and take the L-turn to the last remaining hall of patients, we find a tidy room with a tiny Italian woman sitting upright in her bed, silently weeping. I look at mom. "I think we found someone who needs help."
Mom approaches her, and we sit on the bed with her and learn that indeed, she does need help. A wisp of a woman at not much more than 4 feet, she is a beautiful presence with tidy salt and pepper hair, olive skin and clear (though reddened) eyes. A new resident, having been here only two weeks, she is homesick and lonely. Her name is Margaret. She has no one here to talk to, she says, as the residents are mostly non-responsive to her.
Margaret appears clear-headed and kind, and she provides conversation through her damp eyes. I find myself wondering why she is here. Without needing to ask her, Margaret shares her story of how her son had a change in his life and last month, sold her house and everything in it, moving her into this nursing care facility. I can feel her profound sense of loss. Her house and possessions are gone forever and she is left alone here. Although she loves him, she feels he considers her a burden and she feels betrayed. Her words are gentle, but scarred. Her words are not expressed with anger, but she feels real pain, and her wounds are raw. Margaret shares abandonment and confusion, feeling alone and misled. She is shell-shocked by where she is at this point in her life. Her son, being a businessman, is too busy to contact her. No one has come to visit her. She is alone in this place where no one connects with her because their minds are gone.
We have no idea what really happened in Margaret's personal life, but as she sees it, and she may be right, her son has left her. She is alone. Her house is gone.
Mom and I sit, holding Margaret's hand for about 30 minutes, hearing her story. She mentions that she does not feel well and has a headache, so with her permisison, Mom and I find a nurse for her.
As the nurse takes out his tools and prepares to check Margaret's blood pressure, we hug her and tell her we will return again and hope she feels better. Walking back to Mom's room, I tell her, "I am so glad you went to find who needed help. She really needed you just now. You worked really hard to find her."
About 3 days later, I ask Mom if she has visited Margaret, but Mom says she hasn't seen her. Mom does get easily confused, so I take her hand and I ask her to come on an adventure with me. We embark on a mission to the end of the hall to find Margaret's room.
I am confused when the room appears vacant, and Margaret's name is no longer posted by her door. I wonder if she has been moved. Or was she sent to he hospital? We find a nearby nurse and ask if he knows where Margaret might be. Confirming her last name, he informs us that Margaret passed away a couple of days ago. But ....what? What?? She had seemed so clear when we saw her.
I stand there, stunned. It takes me a moment to absorb, and I feel my own eyes well up when I suddenly realize the enormity of what had happeed while we sat in sacred space with Margaret. If anyone in the nursing home had needed help at that moment, Mom had found the right person. Had it not been for the card asking us to find Margaret, we'd have remained isolated in Mom's room or kept mostly to ourselves as we walked the hall. It was through the card's suggestion that we found ourselves on a mission to serve.
Who Needs Help?
I think of Margaret often, and what she must have been going through. I think of the difficult times of betrayal, abandonment, pain, and hurt that all of us go through at one time or another, some worse than others. Once in awhile I will stop to ask myself, "Who needs help?" And without asking outright if they do (because sometimes people aren't aware that they do or are afraid to ask for help), I find myself holding an inner awareness, seeking the lost angel who might be in need of a warm person to just sit and listen and share attentive space. There have been times when I was the one who needed help, and it was friends who walked me through the darkness. Sometimes all it takes is gentle but active listening when someone feels cast away or alone. It isn't even necessarily advice that is being sought, but sometimes just a person who finds enough value in us to allow us to express our hurts and acknowledge our pain. Often an understanding nod is all it takes.
Finding the Lost Angel
So I ask of you today to consider who around you needs help. You may need to approach and openly avail yourself, and release yourself of busy-ness to create an open space of time and dedicated attention.
Because at one time or another, we all do need help. Often it is merely a space in which to share an ache. And this is where our webs weave together when we become a part of the whole, meant to take someone's hand and guide them through that moment so they hurt less, or at least have a safe space in which to share personal pain.
Who around you needs help today?
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Categories: Life Experiences as Seen through Tarot