The Unification Epicenter of True Lightworkers
PATRICK HEARS VOICES, CHAPTERS 12 – By Kathy Vik, 11-15-13
While writing this for all of us, a novel to and for and about lightworkers, I am asking for whatever financial help you feel moved to provide me. Private message me, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My PayPal account is under amissvik.
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As I am re-writing, for continuity's sake, as I go, so I will post this as a book, in case you haven't been reading a long, but I'll do that at the end of this installment of chapters. It's fun to just read along, but also fun to read the thing in one block, if that's your thing.
And here were go.
“Oh, Bill, it felt real good, it was closure,” Ellie said over the phone, “and it just felt right. That paperwork, oh, Bill, it was the last straw.”
I can be there in twenty if you w ant me to help pack you up and walk you out,” offered Bill. “I'm presentable. I used my potter's apron today.”
“Twenty will be more than fine. I'll see you then,” said Ellie. She paused, then, and thought about the strange turn of events. “Bill, are you okay with what I've done?”
“Ellie,” Bill soothed, “I've been watching your discomfort with those surroundings build, now, for quite a few years. I think you've earned some rest, Ellie. “I trust you, dear. You know this.”
“I love you, Bill,” Ellie said. “if I'm not in the office, it's because I'm out looking for boxes. Just hang out.”
Their evening was spent in their cozy home. Judy was gone for the night, off at a yoga retreat, or woman’s retreat, something through her church. Bill and Ellie did what they always did, new every time, meaningful without ever trying to be, complete and perfect in all its imperfection. They stayed with the other, as friends, intimate in mind, naked in emotion, surprisingly humorous throughout. They celebrated where they'd been as a couple, and what might the future hold, and stayed, happily and lovingly, in the Now they consciously chose to create, especially when the winds howled and things could look menacing, if looked at from just the wrong angle.
They were both asleep by nine.
As fate would have it, this was the night that Patrick's life changed. It was only once the sun had set, an early 5:30, that he realized he needed to charge his phone. He checked the message service for the land line, and heard three calls from the hospice. His mom had taken a turn, and they'd put her on watch. The time stamp was 12:12 that afternoon. He'd slept through the call. The others were to tell him that they were doing for her, looking, he knew, for his blessing, his input.
He charged his cell while calling the hospice back on the land line. He asked for Diane, hoping she was on duty, but not knowing for sure.
There was her soothing voice, so southern, so lady like, so gentle. After telling her it was him, he learned quickly that his mom was really on her way out this time. Judy described it this way, “Hon, I'm glad you're rested up, I figured when we couldn't reach you you were either at school or home sleeping, so there's been no harm done, dear one. Your mother is alive, and has a little bit longer. Do not rush over here willy nilly. Drive over here thinking about last night with her, ok, hon?”
Patrick fought back tears as she spoke her words, admonitions she'd said thousands of times in her long career, meaning them every single time. He agreed to use a clear head to drive. “Traffic will be bad this time of day,” Patrick said absentmindedly.
“Well, if you can manage your temper in traffic, come now. Otherwise, you have some time. Not a lot, and I can't predict every time, but all signs says she may last a few hours. You understand I could be wrong, now, doncha, dear heart?”
“I can't change how far away I am. If she hangs on, she hangs on,” Patrick heard himself say. “She knows I love her and I'll miss her , but I want her to not have pain anymore. Please, just be with her until I can come, ok, Diane?” Patrick said.
“Patrick, you are wise beyond your years. I'll be right with your mom until you get here, don't you worry about a thing, sugar.” With that, Diane looked up and asked her partner Nancy for some help in dividing the tasks at hand.
Patrick arrived after a harrowing hour and a half in traffic. He'd had his headphones on, listening to that Krishna Das character he'd been introduced to by the Benz'. It helped, but by the time he got to the hospice, he felt jangly and nervous, hyper vigilant, and tired.
He walked right to his mother's room, and found Diane sitting by the bed, her considerable frame blocking Patrick's line of sight to his mom's face. Without looking to him, Judy said, “Dear one, I saw you pull up. She's gone Patrick. She just died,” she looked at her watch, “Three minutes ago. Please, sit with her, if you wish, dear Patrick.” Diane had her arms around Patrick then, holding him only as a mother can hold a child. He melted into her arms, she could feel him turning soft and young, like a little child, so many of them do, she thought, as she swayed with him, holding him.
He looked over at his mom's face, during that embrace, and saw that she had a smile on her face, as changed and hollowed as it had become toward the end. The side table lamp was on, the lighting soft, and she looked at peace, still. He noticed that she wasn't breathing, and this is what struck him as odd.
While in Diane's arms, he realized he'd never NOT seen someone, anyone, everyone, breathing. His mom wasn't he felt mesmerized by the sight, and then, the fascination abruptly ended. He turned away then, knowing this was real, it was over.
His mom and he had spoken honestly and openly about death. She believed in reincarnation and lots of stuff that his dad called pagan, and other words, too, but he liked her honesty and her fearlessness about her own death. They had their jokes about it all, even, he considered. She'd told him, once she goes, she'll be hanging around for a while, and she'd get his attention, somehow, arrange things in a weird way, and he'd know, just know, that she was right, that we just “go on,” as she called it.
He moved away from Judy, thanked her, and asked what happened next. She explained it all, and he remembered then that another nurse had gone through a similar list a while back, when she'd been sick the time before. He and his mom had talked. She'd released him from any and all rituals, as he saw fit. She knew they were important for the aggrieved, and so she told him he was free to do as much or as little as he saw fit.
He told Judy that his mom and he had talked, and it was fine to have her go to Feldman's as originally planned. He said, “I just want a few minutes here, and then I'll be done. I don't want to stay. Is that ok?”
Diane smiled and told him, Sure, and left the room, leaving the door cracked open.
Patrick spent a few minutes with his mom, and although these moments were important, and transformative for the boy, we shall pick up his story after those moments pass. Patrick would want it that way.
Valerie was coming out of Panera's when it hit her. She had to get in touch with Ellie. The feeling had been coming to her stronger for a while now, but this realization, as she juggled her purse, a huge bag of food, and her car keys, it hit her like a lightening bolt. “I need to go see her. It's past time for calling,” she said out loud, settling into her old beater.
Valerie and Ellie went way back, back to third grade, in Lakewood, just miles from Valerie's ranch.
She'd retired in Evergreen, close to her childhood home, on property her first live-in girlfriend had bought when such things could still be done reasonably. The boyfriend was shed years ago, but as a parting gift, he'd given her the property. They'd laughed through their tears over it, the day he handed her the deed.
Through the years she'd upgraded the simple cabin, putting on additions, gutting the kitchen, always improving, year after year, until it was a real mountain home, her home. Her role in all of it was to be the visionary, have the ideas, dream bigger. Then she'd hire or barter with locals who'd do the work. She had a rule with contractors. She preferred to know where they live. It's harder to con a neighbor, she always said.
She'd since gone through many relationships, living, at times, down in town, with whomever she'd lent her heart. She'd not found her it girl, but she'd had a hell of a good time, and was what one of her friends called “an elder” in the gay community. There's little that she hadn’t done, Olivia cruises, PrideFest volunteering, facilitating groups at The Center, all sorts of “gay stuff,” as her straight friends called it these days.
She'd lost touch with many of her breeding friends, disinterested in the drama of family life and child rearing. She'd liked Ellie, and tried to connect with her, about ten years previously, but they'd met just the once, and although they'd had a nice talk at a neighborhood cafe, neither of them pursued the other again.
Why the sudden need to see her, to physically see her, it was beyond Valerie. She filed it away under “Things I'd Prefer not Doing Tomorrow,” and realized that tomorrow was another “have to” day. She tried to schedule no more than tow or three of these a month. Have to do laundry, vacuum, get my oil changed. Have tos. Valerie snorted as she turned the engine over. Tomorrow's have to's can wait. It was time to get home, light a bone, and wait for Elaine. She was teaching night classes this semester.
Patrick's dad called the school the day after his ex-wife's death,and excused him for a week. Patrick told his dad he had a lot of things to get done as a result of his mom's passing, and his dad bought it. Patrick was saddened that his dad just let him do his own thing, but didn't know how to ask for help from him. His dad liked working, was a big attorney downtown, and felt justified for the sixteen hour days. The usual freedom Patrick was allowed felt like a thick blanket to Patrick, in those first few days, stifling him a bit, containing him. He wanted to be among friends, people who loved him. He didn't know, at first, who that might be.
The day he picked up his mom's ashes, as he was getting into the car from the mortuary, Ellie called his cell phone.
“Patrick, do you have any questions for me,” Ellie asked, once introductions were out of the way.
“What do you mean, Mrs. Benz?” Patrick asked.
“Well, I imagine you must be wondering why I'm not at school,”” Ellie explained.
Patrick paused, not sure he wanted to let this stranger into his loss. If he said he didn't have a question, she'd think he didn't care. If he said he did have a question, it implied he'd been to school. And if he told the truth, then he'd have to deal with other people coming into this feeling he had, of being adrift and alone. He wasn't entirely sure he was done feeling that way.
“Um,” Patrick said.
“Patrick,” Ellie asked, “Are you OK?”
“I'm good, I guess, but I can't really talk right now, Mrs. Benz.” Patrick surprised himself with his answer.
“We were just talking about you this morning,” Ellie said. “Bill was wondering what you're doing for dinner. It's Italian Feast day again, you know.”
“How is that possible?” Patrick said, marveling at the impossibility of such a thing, “that's weird. I could have sworn it was longer.”
“I know what you mean,” Ellie said. “So much has happened in seven days. Can you join us tonight, Patrick? You really can come by any old time.”
“Actually, Mrs. Benz,” Patrick said, “I can't think of anything nicer, just now. Can I bring anything over?” he looked down at the passenger seat, holding a box packed with packing peanuts and a sea-green and red enamel urn. “Food, I mean,” Patrick clarified, unnecessarily.
“I know we're out of salad greens. I'll pay you back. Can you pick some up and bring 'em with?” Ellie asked.
“If it's ok, I'll go do that now, and be over in, oh, probably less than an hour?” he looked at his watch. It was only noon.
“Well, sure, Patrick, that sounds just fine,” Ellie said, not thinking to ask why he wasn't at school, or if it crossed her mind, she did not let on. “That'll be a treat. Maybe we can go for a walk once you get there and settle in a little,” Ellie said hopefully.
“Sure, Mrs. Benz,” Patrick said, feeling hopeful, “I'd like that a lot. I'll see you in a while.”
Patrick stopped for greens at the King Soopers tucked between Downing and Corona. He often when there for lunch breaks, if he knew he'd be making dinner at night and needed supplies. He greeted Jules, the green grocer who loved stacking things. He'd watched this guy work, and there he was again, this time stacking golden delicious apples, very artistically. Patrick was overcome with a feeling of futility today, walking past Jules, heading to the organic section. What's the point, Patrick's thinking went. He picked up a six pack of Coke too,and then checked out, still feeling bleak.
Ellie met him at the door, as did their dog and cat. She looked tired, he thought. He was still getting used to the idea of seeing this grown-up from school talk with him while dressed in blue jeans and bare feet. He liked it, but found it weird, still.
She invited him into the kitchen, and he took a seat in the breakfast nook, watching her work at the sink. KBCO was on the radio, and a cat was on the counter. Patrick turned, and looked out the window, overlooking the backyard. He could see Bill in his studio, the windows open. He was dancing, and looked to be singing, too. He wondered what it was he did out there besides sing and dance.
“Cider, Patrick,” Ellie said, more a command than a suggestion, as she slid a big clay mug of sweet smelling nectar his way.
“Thanks, Mrs. Benz,” Patrick said.
“Ellie, Patrick. It's just Ellie, if you're alright with that,” Ellie said, patting Patrick's arm.
“I try, but if Mrs. Benz comes out, is that ok, Ellie?” Patrick asked.
“Of course, dear,” Ellie said.
Maybe it was her giving him permission to do things wrong, and maybe it was that her “dear” reminded him of when Diane called him that, or maybe it was just everything, but Patrick quietly began to weep, right there, in front of his new friend.
Ellie got up and took the seat right next to Patrick, and put her short arm around his huge shoulders as best she could. She stood up, and sort of draped herself on him, and held his face in one cupped hand. She said, “There, there, dear one. It's ok. You aren't alone,dear friend.” Ellie wasn't sure what moved her to say the words she did, but as she languaged them, she meant each one, and holding his fuzzy cheek in her small hand felt more right than anything she'd done all day.
She straightened up as his crying eased. She got a couple of paper towels and handed them to him, telling him they were out of Kleenex. He gathered himself slowly, sipped some cider, sniffled, and then looked up at her.
She was looking at him now, expectantly, indulgently, from the sink. She'd started scrubbing potatoes again. “I've changed my mind about dinner. I decided potatoes were called for. More grounding,” she said, while studying his face. “I can see now that was good thinking. You wanna talk about it, Patrick?”
“I think I need a walk, Ellie,” Patrick said. Isn't there an ice cream shop around here? Lickety something, isn't it?” Patrick was already anticipating the fudge brownie he was wanting to devour, hoping they had such a confection.
“It's about wight blocks away,” Ellie said.”You up for it?”
“Oh my God, I haven't moved that much in a week. I think that sounds like a great idea.”
They gathered their overcoats, Ellie got the leash and calmed down her ancient dog by hooking him up to the leash, and they were off.
On the way, Ellie chose to not ask Patrick direct questions about what was going on. Instead, she started their walk by telling him, “When you're ready to talk about what's going on for you, I’d be honored to hear. I trust you are in no imminent danger, and are instead in distress. You strike me as a young man who knows himself. When you're ready, I'm here.” They'd walked to the ice cream shop in silence, not uncomfortable, but pregnant, both of them feeling something building between them, something that would, by virtue of its own strength, come out to be discussed in due time.
Ellie was surprised and intrigued to find Patrick not talking about whatever it was that brought no his tears, on the way home. He held the dog's leash, seemed to enjoy this, and Ellie took the time to notice the trees lining the streets she loved.
Kevin was in the kitchen when Patrick and Ellie got home. He said, “Hi,” in a general way, and went back to cutting up apples. On the stove was a stock pot, steaming, boiling water waiting to make the applesauce Kevin was known for within his circles.