Blessings From My Beloved Deb Hubsmith
Posted by Andy on Jun 24, 2016
Yes, there are still tears, sobbing and grief every day similar to the Day that Deb took her last breath on August 18th, 2015 at age 46. I miss my beloved Deb so, so much. The heart can be raw and at times, feeling broken and shattered. And, at the same time, there is joy that comes that is equally abundant and magnificent. Through the months since the passing of sweet Deb, life has become more vibrant and more brilliant. Death no longer haunts me but instead has become a doorway to connecting with divine love: “Divine Deb” as I call this loving force when meditating before the altar of large photos of Deb in my bedroom. I recognize this loving force as the infinite force of love with which our beloved Deb has become one- but for me, it’s still “Divine Deb” love.
This loving guiding presence emerges when I’m still, when I’m mindful, when I’m connected to the beautiful hills, the majestic valley oaks Deb loved so much, the giant redwoods and the laurel bay forests that surround Fairfax, California. I feel Deb’s presence in the sky, the clouds and with the sunshine on my face.
The waves of both joy and sorrow are intense like fire at times, bringing a powerful vibrant quality to my life. Like Deb and I loved to do so often, the joy and sorrow dance together.
As one of Deb and my favorite musicians, MIchael Franti sings, “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive”. No question. Aliveness is pulsating strongly through this body and spirit of mine more than ever- not always joyful , but definitely ALIVE!
I was at Service Space Awakin Circle last Spring where Leah Pearlman shared a story on “The Strange Beautiful Side of Death”, a story about losing her father, with whom she had a life-long, deep, loving connection. Her world was shattered by his death. As she began to heal through the loss and as she began to embrace life without his physical presence, a new world and a new life emerged for her. She described this great tragedy in her life, reluctantly at first, as a blessing. Whoa! I thought about Deb…. a blessing in losing someone whom I cherished so profoundly?
Deb looked into my eyes in July of 2015 as her body was growing weaker and said, “Andy, you’re going to have a brand new life!”. We sobbed together. I told her I didn’t want a brand new life. I wanted her in my life- I wanted to be together for a long, long time. Nearly a year earlier, in the Fall of 2014, as she was healing after her bone marrow transplant, during a time where she was on the path to being cured, she loved to sing to me the lyrics of Asaf Avidan's Reckoning Song, "One day baby we'll be old, oh baby we'll be old...". But now both of us recognized the truth of her words about my “brand new life” without her as her body was growing weaker and weaker from serous atrophy, a bone marrow condition that was starving her of new blood production; we both knew that soon we would be separated. No, we would not grow old together.
Deb lived a life of amazing service effecting millions of children and families nationwide. She co-founded a small program in Fairfax, California called Safe Routes To Schools, ultimately playing a key role in expanding it to a federal program providing over $1.1 billion to all 50 states. Because of her work countless lives have been saved nationwide and communities have better walking and biking paths and lanes. Her work has helped reduce greenhouse gases, local air pollution, enhanced a sense of community and provided mobility for those that cannot afford a car or choose to live car-free for the sake of simplicity, ease and environmental sustainability. Deb's passion for protecting the earth and all beings was unyielding. Deb was a vegan, a tireless dancer, a yogini/yoga instructor, Reiki master, and overall a brilliant, loving, kind and wise bright light in this world.
On the days leading up to Deb's recent Birthday on June 5, 2016, Deb’s first since her passing, I have been reflecting on the 9 ½ months since Deb left his world. I have been reflecting on my “brand new life” and on the blessings that have emerged since Deb passed on. Companions, my dear family and friends, both old and new, have emerged in abundance, bright, alive and very often with deep presence and love in their eyes and hearts. My loving, awesome son Forest Dylan Peri keeps his love light flowing my way with his texts, videos and video calls from Southeast Asia. My dear friend/companion Xiaojuan Shu has provided kind, loving connection, support and words of wisdom and has turned me onto the Service Space community allowing me to discover a new community, big and robust, that has as its primary intention kindness, love, wisdom, compassion and service; these qualities are emerging central in this brand new life.
This “brand new life” is unfolding in ways I can’t predict but in ways that are supporting what is most precious about this miracle-of-life I have been given in the wake of my greatest sorrow, losing Deb.
As soul-mates here on this beautiful Earth, Deb showered me with infinite unconditional love. I miss her arms around my neck and her soft, big brown eyes looking up at me at dance silently saying “I love you” ten thousand times in just moment. And now, transformed from this Earth in death, there is this new love, a divine love, not a personal love but a guiding unconditional love that embraces and guides me on my soul journey here on Earth.
Are there profound blessings in this sorrow and in this loss? Of course! Have I felt so broken that I thought I might never recover? Yes. Are the blessings which I have been given in this life by Deb inviting me to live and to embrace all aspects of this life, the ten thousand joys, sorrows, fears, hardships, injustice, hatred, beauty and love? No question whatsoever!
Each day, I hold in my heart the spirit and gratitude of my beloved Deb Hubsmith and acknowledge the blessing of the connections we so sweetly shared in this life.
My prayer for myself and for those of you that got this far is: May each of us be aware of and have gratitude for the blessings that surround us in each day and in each moment and may we love without measure!
Happy Birthday, my dear Deb. Infinite gratitude for your love, your guidance and immeasurable blessings. I love you forever.
PS This poem emerged in the midst of my regular walks in nature, playing my ukulele and singing heart/love songs to Deb, the trees and the sky.
How many times each day I long for you
To see your face
I look in the trees and in the clouds
How many stars does it take
To connect the dots
To re-create your beautiful shining eyes
Your Sweet Lips
Your gentle look of loving and utter satisfaction
Of knowing that the Divine has delivered on her promise of this life
Why do you look so hard for what is right before you?
Surely you know the sweetness of a ripe mango
And the noble redwood holding the hand of the Divine
In the afternoon sunset