Below is a touching story sent in by one of our friends:
I recently learned that one wins more by letting go than by clinging, when a situation that had been brewing for a long time presented itself unexpectedly.
For decades, my sisters and I treasured a pair of rings my mother wore since the day she got married. We would often joke among ourselves as to who would be the “chosen one” to inherit them. As simple as they may be, they look fabulous together. One, a plain gold wedding band, and the other, symbolic of the engagement, contained a small but sparkling diamond in it.
Whether my mother was cooking, washing, swimming or gardening, her two rings always remained on her finger. Even when she went in for surgery, she had them on. For 63 years, she never took them off. And for two reasons: one, as a sign of love and fidelity to her husband, and due to the thickening of her knuckles, a toll of the passage of time. Even with soap and water, they couldn’t be removed.
Last June, my mother passed away. I was alone in the bedroom beside her at that precious moment, a transition that resembled more the birth labor of a new way of life rather than anything dark or somber. This passage occurred at a residence for the elderly in a nearby city called Cuernavaca, known as The City of Eternal Spring. It’s a place my mother loved for the exuberance of its flowers, birds and butterflies.
Prior to her passage, a nurse came into my mother’s room. She checked my mother’s vital signs, said a word or two, and then left. Surrounding us was a deep silence other than the rhythm of her strenuous breathing. I was sitting by the bed holding her hand, when suddenly something moved above her belly in spiral fashion. I waved instinctively to scare it away.
The creature flew elegantly in front of my eyes to place itself on the wall close to the headboard and quietly remained there. It was a small black butterfly, delicate and beautiful, leaving my heart pounding with amazement. It seemed to bring the message that the final moment was close. And yes, four hours later, just before dawn, mother closed her eyes to the things of this world and continued with her self-unfoldment.
When the men from the funeral home were about to arrive, the nurse asked me if I planned on taking the rings. Ah, of course, the rings. I took my mother’s hand and the rings slipped quite easily into mine. They fitted perfectly well on my finger.
For two weeks, I wore my mother’s rings. Then my eldest sister organized a family to divide our parent’s belongings. Her plan, practical. It consisted of making a list of the things that interested us the most. If two or more wanted the same object, it would be raffled among them.
The night before that meeting I made my list. The only thing I really wanted were my mother’s rings but as the sheet of paper looked so empty, I added two or three paintings. Everything seemed okay until I went to bed and took a look at the rings. All of a sudden, I experienced fear and pain that I had to part with them. Not only did I have to let my mother go but her dear rings as well?
That night, ridiculous thoughts crossed my mind, from the idea that I could offer a big quantity to be the winner of the raffle or do mental work to secure the rings. It wasn’t until I calmed down that I listened to my inner voice. Its message was clear: let them go, and in doing so, I would win even more. So I did let them go at the raffle and one of my five sisters won them.
The next day, the family gathered again. After lunch, one of my sisters said, “I think Lupita must have at least one ring”, and then another sister and another one said the same. My surprise was immense when my sister (the new owner of the rings) gave me one without any hesitation. I was so happy. My inner self was right (as always): I had one ring due to the generosity of all of my sisters!
But wait, there’s more. At the airport, on my way back home, I received an email from my sister stating that she wanted to give me the other ring, that they should be together. She also said that they belonged to me because that’s what my mother would have wanted! Now I remind myself when I cling too much to an outcome, it’s only in the letting go that you receive more than you could ever imagine.