When as a 36 year old doctor I had severe chronic back pain, Dr John Sarno took me on a journey of recalling all my childhood’s pain. The rain of old memory, cured my back pain by allowing my life’ new memory to peacefully reign. You’ll understand sooner or later, perhaps in this story.
Remembering birth was tough, but time before it was easy. Life in the 1700’s was magnificent but that came from past life regression and this story is not about that journey, but the one after my current birth, not before. I never did manage to remember this more recent birth, perhaps because I really don’t care to or maybe can’t. I do recall however being about age one. It’s not that interesting other than for its wordless description. So I will save you a long recital by telling you it was about cycles. I recall the cycles of the sun behind my crib as day came and went through the window behind where I slept (I slept through most of it). The next interesting thing, perhaps from your viewpoint, was the periodic visitation of floating faces that made cooing noises. I knew they were “nice” as I could feel their happy thoughts. When I could stay awake, seeing them was entertaining. By the next year, I now knew they were “people” and that with gifts of food or lack of care their visits seemed to bring joy or fear.
When I was about three sitting on the basement floor, I watched my sister assemble a puzzle and for the first time really knew disappointment. I insisted on trying but when I could not do it my mother laughed; it was the first time I ever felt abashed. I did not understand that my sister being nearly twice my age had an advantage. How I “viewed”my mother’s laugh shaped who I am forever – competitive, but mostly with myself. Mom was very creative and to this I was native. There was little TV, just building creative toys and dreams for me.
In kindergarten, the teacher told us to put on reindeer hats and parade in a circle to music and entertain our parents. I refused her, asking why I should do this? She just got mad thinking that I dared need a reason! From then on I looked at her with derision for her very poor emotional decision. This event that day made me a father to Spock, emotion free as a rock; though I suspect he was conceived in my mother’s laugh. We were one and the same with just my name.
In high school and college, sex I had to acknowledge; but joy for me was being so high on the curve that everyone else would fail. Calculus, Chemistry, Biology all the sciences, her laugh long ago determined how far I would go to leave them all in the dust.
Fifty years later having joyfully invented a branch of Holistic Medicine, my patient’s pain had become dark rain. A body cooked long round the spit of the sun finally begins to fail, it ceases to run. My patients grew, old my joy grew cold, for even years after I could still hear her laughter. It was time to leave! After 45 years I’d earned that reprieve.
Here in Florida I met a lady who’d been my best friend 40 years ago when I had been painfully divorced. Her eyes were failing and her surgeons flailing. I volunteered my services for a guided tour that the doctor, not Spock, should have known to abhor. Surgeons well selected, care well directed. But, years of life predicted age could not be interdicted. Now I remember the reason to retire, watching life end inspires no great desire.
But being a friend before life’s end is a gift of value that laughter can’t devalue. As I sit here this morning enjoying the sun, I’m glad that from other’s pain, I chose not to run. I cannot stop the end of life but with love and caring there is great opportunity for preparing.
For much of my life I’m again married to a wife, who had been to many daring to be selflessly caring. Now I’m inspired, to be so desired, life’s too short to stay retired. Care given to a friend does spiritually help them mend. Her laughter faded in the ever after.