Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher

Hello and welcome to the May 2011 edition of Horizons magazine. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. My mother was born in May and every so often her birthday would fall on Mother's Day. Two days before my birthday, my mom died on April 8, 1996 of her first heart attack. We didn't expect it, she'd not been sick, so there was no time to worry beforehand. My mom and I were very close and we spoke on the phone nearly every day. I always thought that when she passed I would freak right out, but surprisingly I didn't. In fact even now, 15 years later, it still feels as though she's just in the other room and that I can speak with her anytime I want to. I still feel connected to that greater part of her, that part that extends far beyond the physical body. I still hear her voice in my head. I know what she'd say in certain situations, and I see her in the mirror in alarming frequency. So there's been no missing. There's just been a deepening of the understanding that there is no separation.

In the two days between her heart attack and passing � which we did not know was going to happen � she was heavily medicated and could not speak, yet managed to open her eyes very wide once in order to look me in the eye and let me know she was still in there. I talked to her and I whisper-sang to her. Her lips looked dry and I asked if she wanted Chapstick. She pursed her lips and I put the Chapstick on her. It was the most holy moment I ever spent with her.

She sent me a poem on my birthday April 10, 1995, that read:

Daughter, you're an inspiration to me
I wonder if you know just how much I admire you,
For living every day exactly how you wanted to.
For never limiting yourself to play one single part,
But rather taking time to dream and listen to your heart.

I admire how you see things with such depth and clarity �
you have so much direction at your age, compared to me.
And though I may not always understand your point of view,
I have so much respect and so much confidence in you.

For facing every challenge as a chance to learn and grow �
your inner strength and wisdom run much deeper than you know.
But should you ever need a little extra faith or care,
From someone who believes in you, just call and I'll be there.

For no matter what you think or do, or whom you choose to be,
no one is a bigger fan or loves you more than me.
### end of poem

Mom was the best inspiration a kid could have. She supported me in everything I did and encouraged me to dream. She told me anything was possible. She told me I was born under a lucky star and I've spent my whole life believing that and proving her right. Mom faked me into thinking everything was magical and blessed then voila it was!

Like our cover this month, The Dream Weaver by Katherine Skaggs, my mother was a real dream weaver for me. Because she was, I grew up believing anything was possible and that obstacles are there to be overcome; that anything I was presented with, I would be able in that moment to figure out how to handle it.

Did it turn out that way because I expected it and believed it? That's just how life is, isn't it? You live what you expect to live and what you believe you'll live. And you always know what you believe because it shows up in what you're living.

Mom could not have had an easy life. My dad was not easy to live with, but they loved each other so mom made it work. She became the mediator between Dad and us kids. He'd give us unfair restrictions and she'd cut us some slack when he wasn't around. She consoled us with reminders that as soon as we were 18, we could be on our own for the rest of our life. She'd paint fun scenarios to look forward to and I realize now she was easing my painful now with thoughts of a more pleasant and free future. She was helping me get past the pain of the moment by helping me pivot my thoughts to what I might prefer instead, and prepave a happier life just a few years down the road. Mom was great at helping us keep the vibration in a fun and happy place.

That is the thing I remember most about Mom � her always lightening the mood wherever she went. She was pretty, with a giant genuine smile and bubbly personality. Everyone liked being around her, and she genuinely liked everyone. She was the best role model a kid could have.

I remember Mom getting ready for work in the morning sometimes when I'd be home from school. I'd lie on her bed and we'd talk while she dressed. It was the day of girdles with garter tops, and I'd watch fascinated as she put on her stockings. She always had the softest feet, and she shaved her legs every day so she seldom got snags. She was proud of how long her stockings would last without a run. She'd put on a dress and high heels and pull her hair back and be transformed in front of my very eyes.

Whereas I'm very blonde and fair, my mother was an exotic, dark haired beauty with olive skin. I remember once in the car with her as a teenager, we pulled up to a stoplight in Hialeah, FL and the car ahead of us has a bumper sticker that said "Honk if you love Jesus." Well, we love Jesus so Mom honks her horn. The woman in the car flips her the bird and shouts out the window: "F**ing spics can't wait for the light to change." My poor mom was mortified. We laughed about it later.

I remember loving to sew when I was growing up, which was convenient since I was invariably restricted to my room. I'd make matching tops for mom and I, and we had several sets. Hers, however, fit on an hour glass shaped body and mine on a stick-thin kid's body. She'd often wear them going out on errands, as well, so they must have fit, and she must have liked them.

I remember Mom being excited about moving back to Tampa, FL and getting her own house for the first time. She found a really neat little cedar house in a quiet neighborhood just off I-4 and 41. It was close to where she'd be working at the V.A. Hospital, and close to her parents as well, now in their elder years.

Shortly after she moved to Tampa, she met Rafael Perez, 16 years her junior, who adored her completely. She and Felito married a couple of years later and had a great relationship. It was nice to see her so happy.

Mom died on April 8, 1996, of her first heart attack. It could not have come at a better time: no one was expecting it, so there was no stress or worry about it ahead of time. I was days away from leaving on a cross country trip to California. The trip turned out to be a real blessing, as it turned into an eight month stay, doing new and exciting things. It was a very healing time.

Here's a poem my mom faxed me a few weeks before she passed, author Unknown. She'd fax me goofy cartoons all the time, but this was the first and only time she sent something like this.

If you could see where I have gone
the beauty of this place,
and how it feels to know you're home
to see the Savior's face.
To wake in peace and know no fear
just joy beyond compare,
while still on Earth you miss me yet,
you wouldn't want me there.

If you could see where I have gone,
had made the trip with me,
you'd know I didn't go alone
the Savior came with me.
When I awoke, He was by my side
and reached down His hand
He said "Hurry now, you're going Home,
to a grand and glorious land,
don't worry over those you love,
for I'm not just with you,
and don't you know with you at Home
they'll long to be here, too?"

If you could see where I have gone
and see what I've been shown
You'd never know another fear
or ever feel alone.
You'd marvel at the care of God
His hand on every life.
And realize that He really cares
and bears with us each strife,
and that He weeps when one is lost
His heart is filled with pain;
but oh, the joy when one comes Home
A child is Home again.

If you could see where I have gone,
could stay awhile with me;
could share the things that God has made
to grace eternity.
But no, you couldn't ever leave
once Heaven's joy you've known,
you couldn't bear to walk Earth's paths
once Heaven was your Home.

If you could see where I have gone
you'd know we'll meet someday
And though I'm parted from you now
that I am just away.
And now that I'm Home with Him,
secure in every way,
I'm waiting here at Heaven's door
to greet you some sweet day.

Mom faxxed that to me just a couple of weeks before she died. She knew it would comfort me immediately and for years to come. Happy birthday Mom, happy mother's day. I love you. You're just in the other room and we've got many more lifetmes to dance together.

Enjoy our offering this month. Hari Om.