Mother's Care

from Maria McSweeney

Moving to Ananda Village bears no resemblance to entering a cloistered monastery. Still, when I made the move, I turned over to God and guru all my worldly responsibilities. Since I was single with no children, it was the care of my mother I was giving to Him. Inwardly I felt Master promise, “I will.”

Whenever I visited my mother, I was comforted by a feeling of God’s loving presence around her. Once she hosted a large group of us, including Swami Kriyananda, when we were giving a program in the city where she lived.

Swamiji was impressed by her dignity and kindness. She loved him and all my Ananda friends. My mother never embraced our beliefs or lifestyle, but I felt Master’s promise to take care of her included this touch of divine awakening.

Later she lent a substantial sum of money to Ananda at a time when it was desperately needed. I was moved by the faith she showed in the life I had chosen.

For many years she lived happily on her own. Eventually, though, age took its toll.

Her physical debilities put her in nursing facilities where almost all the residents had lost both body and mind. Her mind, however, was crystal clear. Two places proved entirely unsuitable. I had hopes for the third, but now the director was telling me it wasn’t working out there either.

I live hundreds of miles from my mother and was scheduled to fly home that afternoon. Holding back tears, I asked the director, “Do you know of any place that would work for her?” She gave me a two-page printed list.

I left to buy some food and used the few minutes alone in the car to have a frank conversation with Master.

“How am I supposed to figure this out in the little time I have? I don’t even know where to begin?”

I had looked at the list, but line after line of names like “The Torch,” “Hillcrest,” and “Tall Pines” had left me utterly bewildered as to what to do. I was surprised when I felt Master answer my prayer, saying, “Look again.”

In the middle of the second page the name “Four Seasons” jumped out at me, igniting a light in my consciousness. Had I even seen that name before?

I called immediately. It was a private home in a residential area that a couple had converted into a care facility for elders. A beautiful outdoor garden with flowers, fruit trees, and a gazebo was easily accessible to residents via a winding wheelchair walkway.

One room was available. They even let my mother bring her personal furniture, which, of course, was a great comfort to her.

The last year of her life was spent in these pleasant surroundings with loving caregivers.

When I had given my mother’s care to Master all those years ago, he promised to look after her. And he did.