I hated him. I never had a good thought about him until about 6 years ago when I went through a hands on healing session with a Reiki Master. It was my third session on the table. I remember her touching my legs and feet and saying that what she did, she did for the greater good of Joseph Spado.
Sometime before that, I had gone through a healing ceremony alongside a small fire. I was told to tie small bundles of tobacco, seven of them, and tie them in red cloth. I was to use any kind and color of thread to secure them. But one was to be a different color than the rest.
I used black thread, I think, and used a yellow thread to tie the seventh bundle.
I came to the fire pit. It was ringed with cedar boughs in a circle, forming a perimeter. There was an entrance of sorts at the East. I entered this ring and was instructed to place a bundle into the fire for the Sacred Earth Mother and another for the Great Grandfather sky.
I did this, and then set out to tie a bundle on a tree in each of the four directions. When this task was completed, I had one bundle left in my hand. It was the one tied with the yellow thread. The Medicine Woman that was guiding me through this told me to hold this bundle. Then she went about her business of talking to other people who were around the fire.
I felt abandoned. She didn’t look at me or say anything to me for quite some time. I stood there, confused. Wondering if she had forgotten about me. She turned suddenly and told me to cast that last tobacco tie into the fire and with it, get rid of something I needed to get rid of.
I immediately thought of my Father. I wanted to get rid of this hatred and misunderstanding that I harbored for so long. I tossed the small bundle into the fire and that was the end of the ceremony. I didn’t know what to expect. I really had no idea of what this healing ceremony held for me. In fact, I remember wondering if this was for real. I had an open mind, but just didn’t ‘get it’.
It was a few years later that I was under the hands of the healer who was touching me and channeling energy through me, some good in, some bad out. I had a dream a few days after that. The dream was about my own heart.
I traveled deep into my own body. I was inside of my heart. At the entrance, I was afraid. It was dark and gloomy. Black as coal. The walls were dusty and flat. No shine, but flat and cobwebs were festooned everywhere. I started to walk into my own heart. I was very afraid. Each step was a baby step, taken with extreme caution. I went past chambers that had no light.
Way far away, ahead of me, was a faint light. This light was just a glimmer when I first saw it, but I knew I had to disregard my fear of the dark and the unknown and keep walking, with these small steps, towards that light. I kept going, seeing more blackness, more dust, more gloom and more frightening surroundings. I was deep inside now, ready to run back towards where I started. The light got brighter.
When I was near this light, it went from a faint glow to a bright yellow white aura. It was deep inside of my own heart. I stopped. I stood there, staring at the light. From the light I saw two figures. One was a man and the other a small girl. The girl held the man’s hand in hers and was guiding him towards me.
It was my daughter, Maggie, who left this world in 1991. She was guiding my Dad by the hand. He wore a bright white V-neck T-shirt, the kind he wore so often during the summertime. He didn’t look right at me at first, but had an expression on his face that was asking if it was okay to enter my heart, my dark, gloomy blackened heart.
I nodded and beckoned him to come, Maggie tugged at his hand, pulling him in towards me as I stood there.
I remember smiling with him as he smiled. I remember thinking that it was okay and that I wanted to see him. I remember telling him I loved him. I told him I forgave him. Then I asked him to forgive me. We didn’t specify what we were forgiving each other for, but I know we were crying and loving each other very much.
I returned, following the route I had taken to get me deep down to the depths of my own heart. As I walked, briskly now, toward where I had entered, I saw the black walls of my own heart and they would shine. They were glossy now, the dust and gloom gone. The cobwebs were also missing. The woman who was touching me was there with a corn broom, sweeping the cobwebs away, leaving nothing but these shiny black walls. The light from far away, deep inside my heart was brightening every surface. The walls glimmered from the beautiful light.
I awoke and cried. I wrote about my Dad that day. I remembered many good things we had shared. I remembered fun times, humorous times. I remembered love. I wrote about the trip to Riverview and Kiddieland. I wrote about the road trip to California on old route 66 back in 1959. I loved my Dad and never knew it. I forgave all that I hated and wanted forgiveness for all I ever did to make him angry.
This was healing. This is what it meant to heal. This happened later, after the ceremony, much later. The ceremony put me on the path of healing. An Elder once told me that healing is a path and it took time. It would take patience on my part. I had to be ready for healing, when it was offered, when it came. I’ve had more healing over the years. More understanding of how forgiveness heals. How love heals. How it is our duty to forgive and ask forgiveness even when it was the other that we think caused all the trouble.
As I write this, it is a beautiful day out today. I bought two trees to plant. I bought some blackberry bushes to plant. I was given two lilac bushes to plant as a birthday gift from my daughter. I was going to attend to the chore of shoveling, digging holes and spreading manure, but I stopped at the computer to read what some folks had to say.
When I read about the thoughts of people’s Mothers on Mother’s Day, I felt compelled to remember my Dad. So I started writing this story instead of planting trees and bushes. I’ll get to the chores, but I must have needed to tell someone this story. Someone must have needed to hear it. Or maybe I just needed to remember.
I talked with my Mom yesterday. She’s 400 miles away. I will probably see her in less than a month. As she ages, she has a hard time with names and dates. She forgot who she was talking to and called me by my brother’s name. I didn’t mind at all. I didn’t even correct her but my sister, in the background, did. Mom apologized and I said it was okay.
Peace to all.