“In order to keep us going, it is enough to be grateful for the next breath, because it’s not to be taken for granted that I can take another breath.” -- David Steindl-Rast
Some 25 years ago, I was invited to a small gathering with a psychic who had flown into Connecticut from California. I went along, not because I’d ever heard of this psychic (in fact, I can’t remember her name) but because my friend invited me and because, well, turning down an adventure is not my style.
The psychic went around the room, revealing to each person what she saw for their future.
When she came to me, she said, “Well, this is interesting.”
I waited with great anticipation. After all, I’d just finished a six-month training in rebirthing and was not exactly sure whether to continue traveling, whether to write a book, where I should go next to set up my mobile writing office.
Instead of answering any of those burning questions, she pronounced with great certainty, “Your next purpose in life is motherhood.”
I nearly fell off the chair. When we left the small home gathering, before we even got in the car, I said to my friend, “Well, that psychic was full of dookie. I’m 36. I’m not married. What a load.”
Not three weeks later, I discovered that indeed I was pregnant.
My daughter, Tasman McKay Grout, was born October 8, 1993 with wild light running through every cell. She landed here on planet earth with indiscriminate and generous love. For the past 25 years, she has been my world–my heart, my reason, my best friend. And as proud as I am of writing a bestseller, being Taz’s mom is by far the best thing I’ve ever done.
Paraphrasing the old “God never gives you more than you can handle,” I used to say “God had little faith in me because he gave me the perfect child.” She was beautiful, brilliant. Goodness for her came naturally. She gave 100 percent every day. I dedicated my last book, Art and Soul, Reloaded, to “Taz, the most creative person I know.”
Last Sunday, six days after her 25th birthday, Taz and I were texting back and forth about going to see “A Star is Born.” We had returned the day before from my mother’s funeral and because I had to be gone on her birthday (to make arrangements for mom), we had every intention of making up for lost time.
It had been 30 minutes since her last text, so I called her, just a casual “The movie’s at 1 and 3. Let’s go to breakfast first.”
Next thing I know, a Lawrence policeman was at my door. Taz, he said, is at the emergency room. Paramedics are getting ready to life flight her to Kansas City.
For the past week, I’ve been with her body at KU Med, learning about aneurisms, learning about organ donation (no surprise she’d checked the box at DMV), experiencing the insane kindness of total strangers.
As you can imagine, I’m still processing all of this, trying to focus on the love we shared and the amazing 25 years we did have. But I won’t lie. This last week has sucked. Even though I know Taz is not a body (yes, an old Course in Miracles standard) I’m still reeling with grief.
The other thing that psychic told me is that Taz would become a great spiritual leader. The list of lives she has already affected in her short two and a half decades is immense.
The t-shirt the paramedics cut off her body to start CPR was emblazoned with giant letters “V-O-T-E.” In her career, she worked as a match specialist with the Spanish-speaking families in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Everything she did was some variation of this theme: love fiercely and do quiet, kind things for the underdog.
And while I’m not totally sure what’s coming next for me, someone pointed out at the hospital, that the Course in Miracles book I’m writing (now with Taz’s help) happens to be my 20th book and it’s coming out in 2020. That’s 222, the sacred number Taz and I shared.
I’ll close for now. But please know that I love you all. Taz loves you all. And you haven’t heard the last from either of us.
"Yet the entity should - and does at times - realize that it isn't all of life to live, in one experience. For, life is continued; life itself is a consciousness, a gift of an infinite influence we may call God."
-- Edgar Cayce reading 2399-1