By Lorelei Hill
14 Apr

Wise Owl: My Sacred Space

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A favorite message of mine—“This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you,” by Hafiz—is just one of many inspiring quotes you will read when you enter Wise Owl, a beautiful Spiritual Resource Centre that opened on Monday to a warm reception of community supporters, artists, writers, natural practitioners, and other healers.

With blessings and support from family, friends, and brand new friends who offered support as soon as they heard what we were building, my mother and fellow ACHA Blogger Yvonne Hall and I created Wise Owl. This has been our dream for as long as we can remember.

Mom and I have journeyed together through the many ups and downs associated with CHD. Finding humour during the hard times has been our saving grace. For us, one of the most memorable moments was during a particularly lengthy hospitalization. Having been initially admitted for “routine tests,” I became extremely weak. After a series of painful procedures I was receiving nothing by mouth, and had enough IV lines in me to require numerous pumps. With a top-heavy IV pole, moving became quite difficult. It seemed to roll along the floor in whichever direction it chose.

My body and spirit were fading. I needed desperately to get out of my room. The very act of moving in the direction of the elevators lifted my spirits, although the floor begins to slope downward as you move away from the patient area. Feeling the strain of the dipping floor and realizing the effort it took to hold my pole steady, I turned to Mom for help. In that moment, her cell phone rang and she turned back toward the leveller patient area. She turned one way, my pole following the pull of gravity, precariously rolled the other.

“Mom, mom,” I called out as loudly as I could. Just barely managing to keep the both pole and myself upright, I realized that she was too deep in conversation to look my way. “Mom, MOM!” I called again. Wrapped in tubing, I held tight to the pole, and whirled around and down, around and down. When she finally took notice, she burst into laughter before running to my aid. Thank God laughter is not only contagious, but healing. To this day, we need only to mention “that pole” to begin a private belly laugh that only she and I truly understand.

I understand the fear of pain to come. I have been consumed with sadness for myself and my family. I have been angry. My mother, on the other hand, has understood the fear of losing her child and best friend. She’s been consumed with sadness for herself and her family. She has been angry too. We wouldn’t be human, if it were any other way.

We’ve also screamed at one another during drug-induced temper tantrums—mine! But through it all, Mom has held my hand and for her presence in my life, I am forever grateful. When people say that a mother’s work is never done, it’s this strong, strong love to which they refer.

Now, years of picking ourselves up after having our feet taken out from under us (in some cases, literally!) we are again holding hands and taking the plunge into partnership. Somewhere around mid-February, I turned to Mom and said, “After everything that’s happened, you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I want to build the resource centre.”

I guess she knows me well. She didn’t call me crazy. Not even once! In fact, even when we presented the idea to our husbands, they didn’t call us crazy either. One is holding the rent on our space. Both have put in hours and hours of time constructing, designing, and promoting. Wow! This centre has come together so quickly. It must be right.

As people entered our quiet place of learning, love, and healing they greeted Mom and I with smiles, flowers, and beautiful works of art. “I love it here!” a radiant three-year-old named Sophia said as she raised her arms in request of a hug. I do too, I told myself, kneeling to accept her cuddle.

The place circled on the map for each and every one of us may not always be easy, nor will it always feel kind, but this place is sacred. This is your place, this is your time. CHD has given us all moments of joy as well as sadness. I believe it is up to us all to use the talents we’ve been given through the lessons learned to share our journey and our love in our own sacred space.

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