Joanne (at right) with her sister and mother the day of their homecoming
When I was a very little girl, about 2 years old, (in 1962) my mother found me sitting on the floor by our family dog (Minty), playing with a bottle of her canine medication. It was open and the bright pink dye from the pills was all over my hands and face. My mother (who was pregnant with my baby sister at the time) was terrified that I may have swallowed any of them. I was rushed into hospital to have my stomach pumped out and isolated overnight. I can still remember sobbing all night, (alone in a cot) and seeing my parents’ faces the next morning, when at last they were permitted to return for me.
Fast forward to this summer, (nearly 60 years later) under the constraints of COVID-19 rules of Shelter in Place. As I have been asthmatic since childhood, I opted for complete isolation at the outset of what we call Lock Down in the UK. This, effectively, meant that instead of travelling around the world, every other weekend, I was home. At first it was a relief and a blessing, to stay in one place and focus on taking my work online. However, it also isolated me from my mother. We are a very close, loving family and even when my sister and I formed a bubble (in order to see each other) we couldn’t see mum, in person.
Two years ago, my beloved parents, moved voluntarily into a beautiful Care Home, where we live in the South of England (Brighton), about 20 minutes away from my house. My father, as a devoted Freemason, earned the right to be there for both of them and at the time, my mother was unwell. Mum recovered completely under the care they both received. Dad then became ill and within three weeks, his beautiful Soul transitioned peacefully into Spirit (last May 2019), while I was staying at Prana, in LA. John Morton, our beloved Traveler, had wrapped him (and us) in the most precious blessing, just before his passing and I returned home on the next available flight to London. My mother was amazing. We visited each other every few days if I was home (she could drive to me when she chose). All visits stopped in March 2020 and thank God, I had taught her to use a smart phone just beforehand, so she knew how to video-call.
After five months of isolation, my sister and I were allowed to form a bubble and visit mum in the Care Home, on the other side of a glass wall, with a microphone fitted between us, so that we could hear each other speak. By this time, all the restaurants and local parks were open again, however the rules in the Care Home were stringent. Only the Carers were allowed in and out under strict guidelines. The “glass wall” visit left my mother and I completely shaken. I began to struggle, as if the etheric veil between me and dad was just a bigger, physical one between me and mum. We agreed that somehow, speaking daily on the videophone was more “honestly apart” than pretending to be together on either side of a glass wall. I could show her what I was doing and give her a tour of the garden, where I was; rather than pretend we were together, when we were not.
I was becoming increasingly upset and unable to fully manage this situation over the summer. My sister and I wrote to the Care Home and began trying to find a way to spend some time with Mum. I tried to take a job as a receptionist there and then asked them to let me come in (in PPE if necessary) to spend some time with her. It came to the time for her to have a routine blood test and Mum wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital, but a Community Nurse could visit instead. I snapped – it was as if the little 2-year-old inside me awoke and I burst into tears that a Community Nurse could be allowed in, to see mum in the home, but I could not, when I had been on almost total isolation for months on end. I called the Director of the Care Home and broke down on the call. “I know I am an adult however you are listening to a child in here. It feels as if Daddy is on the other side of a veil and while I sense him around me, I can’t touch him. Now Mum is too; albeit a veil that I can see her through.” I pointed out that I was less of a risk than even the Carers, (let alone the phlebotomist) who went home to their families and did their shopping in the local supermarket.
The Care Home Manager was, at first, very defensive. However, she softened when I said, “I’m not criticising you – I’m just begging for this logic to be one that makes sense.” Then, like the 2-year-old child, I said so very quietly “I just want my mummy.”
The Manager softened; “I am so sorry to hear you are quite so distressed by this – we are working so hard. We have new government guidelines every other day and keeping every detail of this place within them, is an onerous task. We have managed to do it and we have been lucky, no-one here has had Covid-19 – but we have worked so very hard for this luck. We are experimenting now as we have been given ‘Green’ clearance and we are trying to get sanction for your mother to come and stay with you for the weekend, since your sister wrote to us. She will have to isolate for 4-5 days when she returns.”
My sister and I did a lot of praying and a lot of calling in the Light. The clearance came through and we both collected Mum from the Care Home; each of us wrapped our arms around her in the car park and cried like children!! She was so delighted to be able to come and stay, from Wednesday until Sunday, for five days and even the Carers were in tears at the gate, waving her off. It was so moving and such a joy to be together after 6 months; the loving appreciation was palpable to everyone. My sister stayed for a day and then mum and I spent the rest of the time together, having promised the Care Home we would not go outside of my house until her return. We sat talking at every mealtime, sharing the cooking and cleaning up together and appreciating the time in an unprecedented way. It was an absolute joy to be in each other’s close company and replenish each other with hugs and quiet attention, just being in each other’s presence.
On one occasion she looked at me and said, “you know, this lock-down has helped me come to terms with entertaining myself.” I smiled at her, because all her life she had been afraid of being alone. Then she said “actually, it’s more than that. I have learned to BE with myself.” In that moment, the Light shone from her face and my world lit up.
It felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. An invisible “charge” to look after her was melted and we were together simply because we wanted nothing more. It was a profound joy. We talked about anything and everything and Spirit simply moved in, to a new level of loving that was free to be for itself. I was even able to describe it to my son and ask him, “as my son, does it help for you to know that I actually love being with myself – and you are under no obligation whatsoever to take care of me?” I could hear the effect of saying that – he was moved into a more relaxed place, much as I had been.
Cindy Lovejoy sent a beautiful message of love and Light, “Living In God’s Holy Thoughts.” I read it out to Mummy. She said “What’s that? What’s “Living In God’s Holy Thoughts?”
“It’s LIGHT. Living In God’s Holy Thoughts – it’s an anagram for what LIGHT means.”
Tears ran down her cheeks. “Oh, my goodness. I have said prayers for each of you every single day of your lives – and since you have been in MSIA I add that I ask for the LIGHT to surround you. I didn’t realise what I was asking. That is so beautiful.”
The shift in our family dynamic has been profound ever since. If there was any sense of obligation between us, or concern, it has melted into a loving appreciation of each other’s time and of God’s Grace ever present around us all. Mum and I speak almost every night and she says she feels closer to us now than she ever has. Bless her heart, she had to be in her room in complete isolation for a week after her visit – but she’s utterly content. My dearly beloved friend, Lesley Freeman, placed a Light Column with me, over the Care Home and for sure Spirit has been working its magic there. (The other wonderful outcome is the manager is so much kinder to my mother! It seems to have affected everyone!). It is as if we are all one family, committed to her wellbeing – and that includes MSIA for so many reasons. Especially now that my sister is also in the Movement and when we speak, we call in the Light together for whatever is going on.
The blessings really are already there; Spirit is Sheltering in Place. Thank God. My gratitude to everyone at MSIA and the loving Light web between us all, knows no bounds. I am so grateful. Baruch Bashan.