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This doesn't feel real, I am not sure where I am or even who I am. They, the authorities have told me, my daughters have been murdered. This cannot be. I am in a car; I am being taken to the morgue to "identify" my precious babies. Martina is nine years old and Helen is seven years old. I think the sun is shining. But how can it be? Isn't it dark now? Will it be dark forever? It should be. I am being propelled forward without my permission, without my knowledge and without my daughters on this earth anymore. I feel tears, are those mine?
I search for Martina and Helen in my mind, oh yes, there they are, I found them. I smile, there is the sunshine, the light of mercy and I feel their grace. In this moment I feel Gratitude. The first time I have felt this depth of Gratitude in my entire life. It surprises me. It surprises those that have brought me here. I feel something that cannot be defined by mere words. In this place, my mind where I can find Martina and Helen we are joyful and full of gratitude for being together. Oh where did they go? People are talking to me, what? What are they saying? I can see their mouths are moving and I hear a noise. It has shattered my moment with Martina and Helen. Here I feel numbness and sadness at the same time.
Confusion, I have to find the earth, she will help me find them again so we can be together.
I am outside now, my feet have been embraced by our great Mother Earth. She beckons me to sit and rest upon her grass. I am sitting now, the grass feels cool, what time is it? It doesn't matter, time is not linear anymore. I cannot get to that place again, the place I was at with Martina and Helen.
"Hey, hey look over here!"
What? Who is speaking? Then I see her. The willow tree. My eyes watch as my heart engages in the dance upon the wind as my dance partner becomes the willow tree. It weeps with me as it takes my hand, asking to take the lead. We bend we flow we swirl and we twirl. I am free in her arms.
Who is that speaking? It is God, Source; my perception of course. In my ear now, this tree is who you have become. You will bend in the winds of your experience, you will touch the ground with your limbs, you will dance and sway and move and grow with each new sunrise, with each raindrop or tear. This is my promise to you, You, you will not break, I will stand with you and I will blow through your very core, I will hold you up and I will sway with you, and you will not break. Now, you must stand in the wind child, you must stand. In mercy stand in the wind, for you have not been forsaken.
My body stands, I am in the wind and I stand. The willow holds me, strength in her flexible limbs, I am learning from her I am grateful. I am home and again Mother Earth calls me to sit upon her grasses. I am moving through to the yard. She is soft here amongst bicycles that won't be ridden anymore, a garden to be tended to, but by who? I don't know.
The pen starts to write on the paper in my lap.
The first letter to God, "Thank you for allowing me to be Martina and Helen's mommy. I really love that. Thank you for bringing them into your home as they left mine. I know they are ok because you promised me that. Thank you for showing me the willow tree. I will do my best and I will stay in love and gratitude always, for all I have and all I will be. I am the luckiest person in the whole world. Thank you again for letting me be Martina and Helen's mommy. With love and gratitude, your newest willow tree."
The second letter to Martina and Helen, "My precious babies. Thank you so much for loving me like you did. Thank you for continuing to love me. I really need that now, you might know. Did you know I am a willow tree now. I will not break, I will be the best legacy you could ever have. I am grateful you still sit with me, I feel you here, isn't the grass cool? I will sing and dance you for the rest of my life with great reverence and great joy for being your mommy. I might cry sometimes, I will miss your sweet hands as I remember how you hugged, great hugs. I know you will remember too. Thank you, thank you, thank you for who you are and all you have given me while you were here and continue to do for me while you are on the other side."
In great gratitude, I cried, I wept tears of release. They created a river of cleansing from my mind to my heart as they flowed from my eyes down my cheeks to my heart. Each tear a tribute to the great thankfulness of being in this moment and being able to honor my precious children. From this moment, twenty three years ago, I stand as the willow with God as my navigator. Through gratitude I am able to serve others who have lost a child or children, with gratitude as my light and strength I am a beacon of the willow tree. Flexible, bendable yet not breakable. The promise has been kept and the Love of Martina and Helen remains.
Gratitude ushers in the grace and mercy as the winds blow and the sun sets upon this place of great grief. Now, I am asked to be of service and to share the story of the Willow tree and the gratitude she brought to me that day when I was so alone and so very frightened.
In Gratitude, Page.
Martina and Helen's Mom
The dialogue continues. The Love continues. Mercy is offered.
The following is an excerpt from my memoirs of my journey with the traumatic deaths of my daughters. In no way does my gratitude replace my deep grief and continued sadness that my daughters had to experience during that horrific event. It does mean, we walk together from a place of continued Love and support of each other.
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My daughters, Martina and Helen, went on a weekend visit to their Dad's home. And while there, he left them with someone. They never came home from that visit to their dad's house.
On June 14,1993, Martina, Helen, three other children and a woman were murdered in the night. In the years since their passing, I have come to know and understand our loved ones don't die. They move into a different realm yet can still connect with us.
Many of your loved ones know Martina and Helen. They may bring your child or family member forward to meet you. Martina and Helen honor your courage and your tears. With the greatest respect and mercy for you and your family member, they hold your loved ones hand as the connection is made.