I just didn’t understand it until today.
My mother, Frieda Alfman Simon, was born on February 06, 1907 in Pensacola, Florida to Harry and Ernestine Alfman Here is a picture of her at the age of 25 as a dancer:
The family struggled and worked hard to provide a modest, middle-income life for us – me and my four sisters. I remember one day while still in college being driven home by my friend Ken after a night of study at the library. Ken and I grew up in El Paso together and were best friends. We still are though we live far apart. That night Ken and I spent of few minutes parked in our driveway before I got out of the car to go inside. We were staring at my darkened home (everyone was asleep) as Ken and I talked about our life and goals. I remember saying how much I wanted to repay my parents for the life and opportunity they were giving all of us kids. Mom especially since Dad was on the road most of the time – traveling salesman – and Mom worked and took care of all five of us. I was going to do that by helping them pay off the home mortgage one day so they could enjoy retirement together without real financial worries.
That retirement never arrived for either Mom or Dad. Dad died in 1967 at the age of 63. Mom died six years later on the evening of September 8, 1973.
The story picks up from The Actual Dance:
“I did not hear an orchestra play back then. I just listened as the two nurses, each holding a wrist from the opposite sides of the bed counted down. And as I heard them say: “She’s gone.” My eyes filled with tears. As I began to turn away from the bed I noticed out of the corner of my right eye a giant swirl, a spinning tuft of a cloud. At speed of light my head jerked from right to left as the tuft spun out of the room. In that instant I knew exactly what it was. I knew and I could not tell anyone, even Susan.”
What I saw – and on this Mother’s Day in 2014, thirty-one years later -- what I now understand -- was the ultimate gift from my mother.
“… I have since come to understand that life exists in each of us in a tangible form and that the essence of who we are, beyond this physical body, exists and I was privileged to experience that life force exit my mother at the last breath.”
Through the grace of performing The Actual Dance I have come to understand that this was not a random act or a mistake. It was Mom manifesting herself in that briefest of instants to show me what life and love really mean.
Thanks Mom. It has only taken me 31 years to figure it out. I got it now.
My hope is that those who come to see The Actual Dance or engage the evolving materials and writings that you too experience this wonderful gift of insight from my mother.