Helping Mother

My mother is 76, but she is really feeling her age. Since my father died last year she has also had to come to terms with losing her elder brother and two elder sisters. She worries about her health. She has reason to dwell on her health since she seems to have a series of visits to various medical specialists and she often needs to go to hospital. It’s all getting too much for her. She lives out of town, but today I gave her a surprise visit. When I rang her to ask whether I could visit, she didn’t want to trouble me, but in her voice she really needed my company. I travelled the 2 hours and when I arrived, the quiver in her voice made me feel that I was doing something very meaningful. After we chatted over a cup of coffee, I brought the conversation around to her health, but more importantly, how she worries about it, and creates her own anxiety about it. She likes to listen to me talk about Dharma, so I talked about old age, sickness and death being inevitable for all of us. We can’t avoid it. What we CAN avoid is the optional suffering of worry and anxiety about possible future aches and pains. Endless “what if …” thoughts running through the mind. I also talked about how we can be mindful of the here and now and 100% be with those we care about. So she started to understand that the worries and anxieties don’t exist outside, they are within, and they are caused by our old habit patterns. She could see how being mindful was better for her AND better for those around her who care for her. She could see this was the spiritual and compassionate path. She got it. She felt much better. It was in her face. What a hug I got when I left her to return home. So … this is a small but important act which can make a difference. Let’s all remember our parents while we still have the time to show our gratitude!!!with loving kindnessBrian WhiteSydney, Australia

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