The Real Warrior
Date: 6/17/2006 9:10:24 PM ( 16 y ) ... viewed 3119 times
I have been blessed to be able to share my knowledge of taiji and qigong for a number of years now. To be able to live off of one of my greatest passions is a joy and treasure that I pray all find in this lifetime.
Most of the places I teach at are community centers. A few private students and some senior retirement residences. Jackie is at one retirement center that is an extended care facility. Meaning;' last stop before returning to the light.' Few of these aged bodies can stand for long, so I have adapted some exercises that are done seated to help with their respiratory system, digestion, and blood pressure.
Jackie is in the extended care center. She's about 90-something...(I don't like to ask them their exact age) and is almost 5 feet tall. White, short hair, a dowagers hump, she shuffles down the hall every Tuesday, using her walker, to the lounge and joins the circle of elderly residents who seem to have really come to love our little weekly gathering.
Last year, she was out with her attendant for some fresh air. She slipped and fell, broke her hip. She was away from the class for several weeks and I was a little bit worried, thinking maybe her time was near.
I know, there is no death in Reality, but her fellow residents' are of mixed feelings, being so near their own journeys completion. Well, yesterday as we formed the circle, (I got in the habit of leaving an empty chair to the right of me, in the circle, where Jackie would always sit, in anticipation of her returning. As the weeks passed, the chair remained empty, and I expected to be told soon that she was either bed-ridden or gone 'home,' to the light. I remembered her wrinkled, smiling face. The twinkle in her eyes, like tinker-bell, it made you feel you were in the presence of an angel of happiness. When she smiled at you, you became an angel yourself!)
We were all in our seats and were just beginning the gentle warm ups. I glanced down the hall as a movement caught my eye there. It was Jackie! I thought she moved slowly before, but now, she was even slower as she shuffled along towards us with her walker. You could see every step caused her some measure of pain and discomfort, her bones like brittle glass, her smiling grimace as she fought back the pain of movements that we younger humans take for granted, so easily, so foolishly.
As she came closer and closer I paused in the warm-up movements to watch her, and everyone else in the circle stopped as well to see what I was looking at. A few exclaimed 'It's Jackie! Here she comes!!" with excitement and pride, love and joy in their words, voices, and on their faces.
Tears began to form in my eyes then, just as they do now in writing these words. I held back the tears before they brimmed over my eyelids and down my cheeks. I didn't want the others to see me display what they might construe as sadness or pity. Truly, in reality, my tears were not from pity or sadness at all. Well, maybe a tiny, tiny bit of sadness, but more like a melancholy sadness, bitter-sweet like sour candied rose petals. She slowly made it to her chair and an old soldier and I helped her get in position. She looked at me and said, 'I had to come back, I missed you.' 'I missed you too, Jackie,’ I said, ‘we all did!' The others nodded and made agreement sounds. We went through the class with such joy and peace, love and pride on the faces of these incredibly beautiful warriors of life and love!
My tears flow now, freely, as I am alone and unhindered by my human resistance to displaying my feelings to others openly.
They are NOT tears of sadness. They are tears of wonder, joy, AWE, and Deep, Deep Gratitude for this fantastic, wonderful, amazing thing we call 'Life.' It is so powerful when determined to triumph. So noble as it flows forward in the full knowledge that in moving forward, we move to our ending. A moth to a candle's flame.
What a gift,
what a gift.
Unwrap it with passion-
Share it with enthusiasm-
celebrate it often,
Never, never, never give up.
What a gift.
..the above was written in 2004...
WHAT A GIFT!!!
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