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Posts Tagged ‘Romani people’

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The mind is a strange and wonderful thing, it can fill you with delight and excitement and it can also eclipse you in shadows and tears.  It’s the quintessential offering between dark and light, depending on how you approach things. Memories are the living reminders of the past, where friendly apparitions walk through our minds and hearts, helping us to recall the fun, the frivolity, the serious and the sad events of our life. Our highest of highs and lowest of lows.

Yesterday, January 2nd was my time to take a ramble through the laneways of my mind, my memories, as I recalled what that day means for me and where my rambling took me. On January 2nd 1998, at 12.15am, my father William Lister passed away as I sat by his hospital bedside. His two year battle with his illness was finally over and as I held his hand, (I have to admit) I was relieved that his pain was finally over. He had crossed over to join the rest of our family who were in spirit and the next stage of his existence had begun.

It was a cruel irony that the last two years of his life were spent in a mammoth struggle to “soldier on”, typical for a man who spent his National Service in Egypt and Switzerland, in an attempt to save his family from as much distress as possible. Such is the nature of the man, and the atypical “stiff upper lip” and non complaining attitude of the Yorkshire man he was, that no-one ever heard him complain.

William Lister (Dad) 1954, shortly before his deployMent to  Egypt.

William Lister (Dad) 1954, shortly    before his deployment to Egypt.

In life he was an irreverent rogue, filled with fun and frivolity, an irrepressible funster with an ever-present smile or cheeky grin, whom everyone loved as everyone I can recall fell under his spell.  He was a genuine gentleman and everyone respected that.  He was definitely someone who was in touch with his “inner child” and gloried in playing with him – especially where his children were concerned, and when they came along, his grandchildren.  Everyone knew his greatest passion in his life was his wife, Patricia, (Mum), and with very little difference was the joy he had in and with his children, and  later his grandchildren, he surrounded us with unconditional love. His “inner child” had plenty of opportunity to come out and play. Children simply loved him.  His family was the centre of his universe and he was a truly contented man. He told me during our long wait that he had wanted for nothing more from life than he had been given.

So yesterday was spent acknowledging the sadness of loss but tempered with the knowledge of the love, the fun and games, the satisfaction he had in and for his life and the great joy he brought to so many, both in the family and to his friends outside the family. The great happiness and joy he brought to my life. At the “end of the day” we can all only ask for this much and if we have achieved it then we have served the Universe and Spirit well.

Patricia Lister (Mum) 1995

Patricia Lister (Mum) 1995

We, those left behind, always wish for more, especially more time. Yet love knows no boundaries of the flesh. As I write this I know he is here with me now. I sense his presence, I smell his scent and I know he is here as he was with me yesterday. It is a comfort and support, and what more can I ultimately ask for?  His presence prompts me to remember all the good times and although it takes a long time, and there are occasions when I slip, I grieve a little and then remember the fun and happiness and go on again. Whilst the memories may be bittersweet, they are still sweet, never gone, never forgotten and ready to reach out and comfort if we need it.

In my meditation last night I blessed and gave thanks for the wonders of the silken chains of love, of family, of friends which we forge. During life and beyond they remain, ready still to love, to comfort and to teach. I am grateful for the wonderful times I had and which I can remember always.

I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, that the spirits of our loved ones still remain, that we are all spirits in a physical incarnation. There is a sense of peace in knowing this and in feeling this, so that even on my walk down “Memory Lane”  I am mindful of the knowledge that he is with me still, acceptance of our souls growth through life and beyond, and that we have each chosen our life lessons even if we often have a difficult time understanding them.

William Lister (Dad) 1995

William Lister (Dad) 1995

In the heat of the cemetery yesterday standing with my husband Ray at my side, a breeze blowing zephyr like through the trees, the birdsong from the nearby bush a chorus in the background to soothe us, a young hare suddenly darted out of the gardens, charging up the edge of the grass verge before bounding across the road and into the bush on the other side.  To say it was a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. It most certainly lightened the sadness.

I looked up the mystical meaning of seeing a hare, and considering where I saw it I think it was particularly  relevant.

The Romany (Gypsies) believe a hare is a lucky omen.

Some Native Americans see hare as a messenger telling you to put fear behind you and get on with your life.

Since our ancestry is both Celtic (Irish) and  Romany, I couldn’t think of a better sign from Dad that he was definately there with us.

I Love you Dad.

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