Bonjour!

It has been a long while since I sat to write a blog... it has been a long while since I sat still long enough!

Since my return to Europe a month ago, I have been on the run: Paris, Bordeaux, then Switzerland for the last two weeks, almost every minute filled with work I love to do.

(I know how lucky that is: I was a banker for 22 years!)

I got back to wet-puppy Paris yesterday and dutifully did the laundry and the shopping, and began preparing for a big workshop I hold every year in the center pf Paris. Every year since my Mom passed...

The first time I ran the workshop, I was nervous as it was a sea-change for the former banker I was. So I chose Saint Patrick's weekend for those three days 2010 for good luck, proud Irish passport-holding girl that I am. What I didn't know when I booked the hall months in advance was that something else would happen in March of 2010 that would rock my world even more.

My Mom died.

She passed the night of March 8, just before midnight, and I was with her. We kids had been taking turns staying with her at night, and it was my turn. I had been talking and singing to her, and marveled that she "came to" a bit at two moments: to sing a little of "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" with me, and again, when I softly told her "I can walk you to the door Mom, but I can't go all the way with you - soon, though!": imagine my surprise when her eyes flew open just then and she confirmed, "Soon!"

Funny to the end, my Mom was. If you listened closely enough...

She loved to laugh, and we loved when she did. So much so, that i would make a point of calling her whenever I did anything really dumb: I loved making her laugh! Now, when I do something goofy, I wish I had her to call.

Her life was not an easy one, with all seven of us in tow, up and down the 96 steps to our apartment (6th floor, no elevator), any number of times a day, so far from the life of which she must have - like all of us? - dreamed as a young, beautiful girl. Sometimes you could feel her regret... but we always loved when she had a drink and cut loose, laughing the way I imagined she had when she was young.

I was home for an RnR visit (and for my niece/goddaughter's bachelorette party) before my first big workshop when she had a stroke and, after some days, slipped away.

I flew back to Paris after her funeral with my then-partner-in-crime who had flown over to be with me during that period (thank you, Jérôme - some kindnesses you never forget), with a big hole inside, but determined not to cancel what was - I knew, even then - the start of a new life for an old banker (I was all of 46 lol.)

I remember when I first told my Mom what I was getting up to, over here in France, after the Bank shifted strategies and I declined the positions offered me, stateside (I became a banker to get to Paris, no sense in going back then.)

When I told her I was working with Angels, she said, with a bit of frustration, "Not you, too!"

I pulled it out of her: apparently, my Grandma (her mother) used to do tea leaf readings for the people in her building growing up, and she had always been - and still was! - horrified by that. It was all of the immigrant mom doing weird things that made her not fit in, to be different, "weird".

And now, her banker-normal daughter was going to be "weird" too.

I will never forget that day, as I came out of the "spiritual closet" to my Mom: I was at once delighted that there was a history in my family (that I wasn't as weird as all that, at least not for us), and sad that my Mom was not as happy about my shift as I was. Oh well...

But, like everything, that changed too. After my Dad died, Mom and I spent a month at my place, Attitude Adjustment, in Emerald Isle, NC. During that time, I made her drinks and we howled at the full moon together, drawing closer.

We saw a movie in which Kevin Costner promised that in the event of his passing, he would always visit his newfound love, and the sign would be the wild horses on the outer banks. Walking back to the car after the movie, I asked my Mom if she wanted to do that, if we would also send a sign to the other - whoever left first. I was surprised when she agreed, and we opted for crows, sacred messengers between the worlds.

Well, that weekend after my Mom's funeral, I was nervous as all get-out before my first workshop. But there were crows: on the way to the Metro, from the Metro to the venue, on the way home, crossing the Mirabeau bridge. For thee days there were crows.

And this past weekend, teaching the same workshop (almost the same - it has evolved some!) in Lausanne, Switzerland on the occasion of the anniversary of my Mom's death... you guessed it - crows! Every morning as I walked to work, a boon for my day.

Yeah, I run all around the world these days, teaching and generally enJOYing, and delighted that the writing I always dreamed of doing is finally coming to pass. That professionally, things are movin' and shakin! (Gratitude!)

But sometimes (maybe like all of us?), I still get to feeling like the kid who wishes her Mom were around. Like right now...

... and as I write this from the Paris apartment, on the terrace just outside, yep. You guessed it again.

Sure, sure... I know what they say. That crows precede (and follow) rain. And it is meant to rain today.

But that logic stuff ain't fooling me, none... I know how thin that veil is.

Thanks, Mom, love you too!

Crow love from Paris...