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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
I'll See You Again
Article ID: 10365
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,012
Times Read: 4,823
RSS Views: 62,729
Author: Tree Higgins
Posted: December 11th. 2005
Times Viewed: 4,823
My friend Rick and I were sitting on his front porch last year just as the last of the leaves were clinging to the trees. His place sat on a high pasture and looked back up a valley that seemed to wind into itself over and over again. The house and countryside reflected Rick’s own sense of perfect peace and balance. I had driven from Florida to North Carolina specifically to see Rick one more time. Rick was dying.
Rick had come into my life when I was working in a medical specialty clinic in Asheville, NC. He was returning to a profession he had left behind a dozen years previously. Divorce’s financial extremes had brought him back into the field once more. He was slow in dealing with patients in an industry that likes assembly line precision, but his gentle ways and good humor quickly won patients’ hearts and staff acceptance. I noticed him the first day. By the third day, I realized he was another one I had known from past life experiences.
From an early age I understood I was “old-souled” as my grandmother once said. I just knew things. I knew bad people when I saw them even when they were sitting on the church pews, singing hymns. I knew exceptional people as well. I knew how to ride a horse and which side to mount from the first time I got on a horse. Equestrians are not “born” as equestrians. Like so many things, it is a love carried over from another life. When people come to a familiar thing in this life, they find comfort in doing it again. Most people who have been upon the wheel of reincarnated lives know this feeling. In fact, a great deal of their lives are spent with the sense of déjà vu. Within the culture most of us grew up in, reincarnation was not considered a basic truth, so most people are taught from an early age to bury both the instincts that come with being old-souled and the acceptance that reincarnation is a fact, not a fancy. Even knowing reincarnation as fact, I never have walked up to someone and said, “Hello, which life did I know you in?” Why? One reason is that most of people I meet in this life and feel I know from another are what I call “sleepers”. They either have too much past (and present) life trauma or have fallen prey to conforming to the dominant culture’s dismissal of reincarnation. It is not my place in life to shake them awake nor is it my place to ruin beliefs that they find comfort in. We are all simply travelers passing one another as we get on different trains for different destinations. It is a rare thing to find someone else who is “awake”.
Rick was awake. One summer afternoon we sat and talked about death. He said to me “You know that isn’t the end.” His blue eyes twinkled. I had to laugh because, with joy, I knew he was “awake”. After that, open communication made the basis of a friendship. When Rick’s cancer returned after a long hiatus, he proved to everyone around him how spiritually strong he was and that he knew when he was suppose to leave this life. When his doctor told Rick he had lymphoma and would likely have only a couple of more months to live, Rick sat quietly and thought about it. “I don’t think it is my time to die just yet so I don’t think I will.” The doctor suggested both drugs and counseling. Instead, Rick took chemo and holistic healing. After seven months, the cancer was in remission. Over the next two years, his doctor would tell Rick he had “X” amount of time to live. Rick would say no and continue on. He gave motivational speeches to cancer center staffs and others. He gave workshops on positive living. When his doctor told him again he only had six months to live, Rick chided him for his words. He asked the doctor if anyone else in his experience had survived as long as Rick had with this deadly cancer. The doctor said no one had. Then Rick told him that the power of the doctor’s words had probably played a big factor in those statistics. Rick said that the power of words reaches deeply into the human heart, especially when they come from a position of authority such a physician. The doctor was silent a moment then apologized. Rick knew, from past life experiences, how to deal with his own impending death, but he also knew that he had things that had yet to be done in this life. He listened to his soul’s calling and spent the next four years after his first diagnosis answering that call. He taught medical personnel the importance of the human spirit. Rick taught everyone around him that the power of their lives is really only in their own hands. He taught his own children to be strong and loving. He taught some of us that miracles do happen.
When I ponder the big “WHY?” of reincarnation, I think of Rick. He had become a teacher and more because of the experiences of his previous lives and in this one. My own belief is that we are fine-tuning our spirit as we pass through lives. What we fail to learn in one life is emphatically impressed in us in the next. I do not believe we have to balance karma. Instead, we have to accumulate skills that make our spirits strong, which teach our hearts to sing. We may not even be fully human until we have attained a certain skill level. That would explain how some people do such beastly things to one another. Not yet human enough.
A Native American man told me once that not everyone is allowed to come back. He said only those the “Creator” chose were allowed reincarnation and it was an honor. I thought about this a long time. I do believe it is choice and not everyone makes the choice to return repeatedly. Some people never answer the call of their souls or are content to be exactly where they are spiritually. As for myself, I choose to answer my soul’s call, my spirit’s need.
The hard part is always the partings - grief at being left alone life after life or of leaving the ones you love alone and behind you. It never gets easy.
I stood on that porch in North Carolina and hugged Rick a long time. His voice was just a whisper. The cancer and chemo had so taken over his throat and vocal chords that he had a hard time swallowing even the liquid morphine that kept pain at bay.
Against my will, my eyes filled with tears. He tightened his embrace.
“I know better than this,” I chided myself.
“Of all the people I know, you are the one who knows best that this isn’t the end,” he whispered. “I’ll see you again.”
I nodded and parted from him. Took the Ashika drum he gave me for forest drumming and turned to go.
“I will sing your ritual to the Goddess in a forest as deep as I can find,” I promised him. He smiled and said he knew I would do just that.
As I drove back through North Carolina’s mountain roads, I thought about another reason reincarnation happens. It happens sometimes because some treasures like Rick are simply too precious for us to lose forever.
I will see you again, Rick.
Location: Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia
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