Recognizing Ancestral Impacts in the Heat of the Moment
“If you call that ambulance, I will NEVER forgive you!”
“But Mom – You have to go to the hospital!”
Where do you go with that?! In that moment of tearful, cortisol-loaded emotion, how do you stop yourself, for just a few seconds, to realize you are in an ancestral healing moment.
Though this is my work, it’s not easier as I weigh my options. Tears run down my face as I know there are only minutes to heal this ancestral pattern or lose my mom forever, (either through her anger in my calling an ambulance, or her life, because she does not want to go to the hospital or give up her decision-making control).
I also realize the weight of future generations having to rework this old pattern of child against parent, as the parent doesn’t realize just how sick they are and they truly need help.
This is the eye of the deadly hurricane… in these few minutes, the storm of possible outcomes is swirling around the two of us… and, like all high-trauma moments, time seems to stand still for just a moment.
I envision rising above the swirling options:
- Paramedics arriving, loading her to a gurney to safe keeping and calling my brother to say, “She made it!”
- Me boarding my United flight at 6 a.m. with her safely in bed, with no particular person arranged to visit on Sunday while I’m in the air… and somehow, she makes it through the day tomorrow.
- I imagine the call from my cousin saying they found Mom dead, peacefully in her sleep with a mess of incomplete documents and old wills that no longer apply and paperwork “In process” at the lawyer’s office.
- I see the headline in the Star Tribune saying Author of Ancestral Healing Book Series Leaves 83-year-old, 70-pound Mother to Die Alone”…
My decision is clear – the hurricane is looming closer, ever closer as I whisper “Please, Mom, can I call the ambulance?”
“No” the answer is breathless but not weak. I know she means it.
“Mom! You can’t breathe. I’m leaving tomorrow! I can’t leave you like this. You can’t breathe! Can I call them?”
The answer is a nod.
I dial 911, having to stop to regain my ability to speak, “My mother is severely dehydrated… She’s 65 pounds… We need the ambulance and oxygen”
The three paramedics arrive to find me on my knees at her feet. It seems to take them forever to load her to the ambulance parked silently in front of her townhouse. It doesn’t move. The ambulance sits there for at least 8 minutes. The hospital is only a mile away.
I follow the ambulance with her car. Eighteen people surround her as the Dr tells me what I already knew, “Your Mom is a very sick woman. She would not have survived the night. She has a Do Not Resuscitate. We can treat her; but we can’t resuscitate her.”
I nod my acknowledgement – we aren’t out of the woods yet.
When they inform her, she says, “But I feel pretty good.”
I respond, “There’s the problem. She feels good and she’s just minutes from death – How can we know when to call?” I can feel the ancestral pattern unraveling – revealing words said from generations past, resurfacing today in this ancestral moment.
Like all hurricanes, by morning – the storm has passed, and the damages are done. Luckily for us, our hurricane ended with heavy tears and a mom who’s regaining strength in rehab now. There’s another saved life on the record books of Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital and at least ten ancestral patterns resolved (for now).
Hurricane season isn’t over, but we’ve made it through the first one. Thanks, God, for this work and recognizing all the ways our ancestors unresolved patterns show up in our daily lives.
If you’ve found yourself caught in the heat of an argument, a scream, a shouting match, or tears. You are more than likely in your own ancestral hurricane.
Find the eye of your own ancestral storm. If this is a new concept for you, or if you’re in the midst of an ancestral pattern now, as we come closer to the holiday season, be sure to check out the free on-line Ancestral Summit “101 Voices and Perspectives of Ancestral Connection” at TheAncestorsWithin.com