For Suzanne

I Like to be in writing space when I sit down to share here, which is why there has been nothing new recently. I’ve been cleaning up loose ends in my life, like old debt from over 10 years ago. Debt that’s mostly been written off or owed to businesses that have closed. The few left alive are still, in reality, owed, no matter wether they are on my credit report or not. I have not forgotten all these years. I’ve only been busy figuring out how to be a grown up, how to make enough money, how to use it in a spiritually whole way, and to be honest, I have often completely forgotten about this long ago money owed and seen other things as more important whenever extra money has come to us, earned, gift or income tax return. Recently though, being completely out of debt has become a dominant desire. Not just my old stuff from days of early adulthood when I had just about no concept of responsible finances. Everything. House and car included. As we go along on this path of solvency, I seem to be moving in new levels of awareness…rapidly being aware that for me, to live a life of service the way I envision is possible, requires solvency and prosperity. Also, I believe our children will benefit from our increased availability that I believe must be the outcome of this process. Some debt, I am told, is okay. Doesn’t everyone have some? At least most people? I think so…but I want out of that trap. For me it had long ago developed into a spiritual disease(debt), and now that we are on the train to freedom, I intend to get all the way there.
That said, I’ll go back to September 1997 when I spent a whole month in my mom’s bed asleep or reading, dpressed and confused, not knowing how to live my life. The details of that confusion may make it into another entry but are not for this one. After a month spent hiding, and sleeping, I spent 4 solid days and nights awake, walking around like a mad scientist in my mom’s little apartment, trying to figure out what to do. Much of those 4 days I spent in prayer, mostly the Tablet of Ahmad and Long Obligatory Prayer. What I finally determined to do was move to Chicago where I knew the area, knew I could eventually find a decent paying waitressing job, knew I could get around without a car and there were strong Debtors Anonymous meetings I was longing to learn from and be spiritually supported by in my new determination for recovery. So I called my friend Iris, arranged to live in her living room until I could find a job and save for an apartment. In October 97 I left for Chicago…again…but this time I told my mom and dad to please say “No” if I asked them to help me through another transition. This time I knew I needed to make it on my own no matter what. Also, I knew I needed to make peace with my fear of dying if I were to ever live boldly as a servant of Baha’u’llah…really working for world unity…if I wanted to call myself a Baha’i and have it ever be potentially true. I spent 4 months at Iris’s before finding an excellent job at an upscale diner in Lincoln Park and a wonderful apartment at Ashland and Montrose. During those 4 months, Iris and I grew very close. She became a gentle, loving mentor, someone I soon wanted to emulate in ways, for her peaceful nature, for the grace she carries in her as a result of long years of recovery. While I was living with her, I decided to write down 100 goals and dreams, things I actually intended to do, have or give during my life time. After those 4 days of Prayer and wakefulness at my mom’s, I continued to say the Tablet of Ahmad and Long obligatory Prayer every day. I also started reading, one after another, biographies of early Baha’i’s. Because of this, I began to really see the visions and goals I’ve long held as possible, real, not just hopes that I knew were more likely to come about someday if I wrote them down. So now to the list of 100. It took several days to complete and was the most ambitious, specific list I’d made yet. I’d been writing down dreams and goals since I was 19, often as large as having a gymnastics gymnasium next to my house. Even though I couldn’t get adult life figured out and kept tripping over myself, I knew that I had to keep reaching. The difference was, this time, I was making an internal committment and asking God to help. Midway through the list, Iris asked me how exactly one writes down 100 goals. How can there be so many? So I pulled out my notebook and said something like,”Well, for example, here’s one I just wrote. ‘Go to a seniors residence, pass out white roses and take the residents that can go out, anywhere they want to go.'” Skip now to the next evening or maybe the one following that, when I met a friend for dinner. My understanding was that we were not dating, but he was hopeful, so when I met him at the restaurant, he wanted to stop by his car for a moment to give me something. There on his passenger seat were wrapped flowers. I opened them and with a deep sense of awe, found 5 white roses. After dinner, he drove me home. When I opened them, again I was deeply moved, to find that I had miscounted and there were 9. I accepted that as a message that I was not alone and that I should keep reaching, knowing that as long as I keep on, God was helping in ways I could not comprehend and that the goals and hopes I have for life and the world are achievable.
A second, beautiful and unexpected story.
On November 11th, after the Birth of Baha’u’llah Celebration at the Baha’i Center, Devyn was offered some flowers which he brought home. My Aunt Alma died the morning before(I’ve already begun a post on that since she and I were very close), and I asked Devyn if we could bring her family some of the flowers. He said we could bring them one but can we please keep the rest. Later, I realized the frowers on the table in the tall vase were white roses so I counted them. 10. One for Aunt Alma’s family, 9 for us. It would be exactly like her to give such a signifigant gift so I’ll believe it to be so. Thank you Aunt Alma. I love you.

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One Response to For Suzanne

  1. Suzanne says:

    Thank you, Heidi.

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