Some Paths are Better Left Closed

In my prior post, I wrote about the dream and dream re-entry process that left me feeling like we’d found the perfect place for Mom and that the way had been made clear for an easy move. In my dream, the path had been overgrown with clawing, scratchy branches, but I re-entered the dream and cleared the way with my hedge trimmers.

Perhaps some paths are better left closed.

The events of the past few weeks have been exhausting – physically and emotionally. After moving Mom into the new Assisted Living facility last Saturday, we found ourselves rewinding, backtracking and repeating the move in reverse the following Wednesday.

Mom was incredibly disoriented, anxious and depressed in the new place, which was not entirely unexpected. We figured, at age 91, a move like this would be a big adjustment. We assumed that in a week or two she would adapt and get back to her normal self. But with each visit and phone call, things continued to go downhill rather than up.

After three days there, the staff was suggesting Mom would adapt more quickly if we didn’t visit so often. Also, they suggested, she was depressed and we should ask her doctor to prescribe a mild anti-depressant. And the final straw – a bedbug scare that turned out to be a complete fabrication on the part of the facility’s management.

NoBedBugs_123RF_5519282_blogThey had it in for Mom’s collection of teddy bears (100+) from day one. After we got her and her bears moved in, they started making noise about the teddy bears being a bedbug risk. On day 5, they told us they had actually found adult bedbugs in her room. The teddy bears would have to be bagged up immediately, the room sniffed out by a bedbug dog and then fumigated. Mind you, she had these bears in her prior Assisted Living apartment for 7 years and there were no bedbugs there.

They said after the room was cleared and fumigated, we could buy her a few new bears – maybe half a dozen, but no more than that. Mom loves those bears. Each one a gift from someone.  Each one with a story. The bears are her companions. She takes one or two for a ride on her walker when she leaves her room. Mom was already so miserable in the new place, I knew that if we took her bears away she would completely lose it.

My suggestion that if there were indeed bedbugs in the room, they did not come from the teddy bears was met with a condescending, “I understand your feelings, but we must take this very seriously.” I told them that I also take my Mom very seriously and that the bears would be the last straw. I repeated my assertion that there were no bedbugs in her last apartment.

Luckily, we had her old assisted living apartment rented through the end of the month so when the new place said the bears had to go, I told them fine, Mom would leave with them.  We moved her back into her prior apartment that very same day.

TeddyBearsNoBugsThe next day, the new place brought in their bedbug sniffing dog who found NO bedbugs in the room. Surprise, surprise. When I asked them why they told me they had SEEN adult bedbugs the day before, they said, “Oh, it was a carpet beetle. They look very similar.”

We are all exhausted from the double move. And poor Mom has been through the ringer.  The timing of the bedbug crisis was fortuitous. In another day or two, all of Mom’s larger furniture would have been sold or donated and she would have returned to an empty apartment. As my sister pointed out, those teddy bears actually did Mom a great big favor. She is so very happy to be back “home” and will soon forget the stress and unhappiness of the past week. I have discovered that Mom’s happiness for whatever days remain to her is worth far more than the dollars it will take to keep her in the apartment she’s known for 7 years.

As I think once more about the dream and the re-entry process, I am reminding myself that the second part of Robert Moss’ Gatekeeper invocation says, “and may the doors and gates and paths of any who wish to do us or those we love any harm be closed.”

The arbor path in my dream was closed with branches and brambles. I was stubbornly determined to cut my way through – but some paths are better left closed.

Dream: Clearing the Way


Dream Collage created on – view here: Dream: Clearing the Way

4/23/14 (morning) Dream: Arbor Paths

I am being guided down a number of paths. One of these is an arbor path that is very overgrown, making it hard to push through, and leaving us scratched by the branches and twigs when we do.

I wake from the dream thinking of Robert Moss’ dream circle opener: “May our doors and gates and paths be open, and the doors and gates and paths between the worlds, and may the doors and gates and paths of any who wish to do us or those we love any harm be closed.”

With that thought, I find myself most drawn to that brambly, overgrown arbor path. Why was it blocked? Where does it lead? I feel like I want to open it up and clear the way to make passage through it easy. I determine to re-enter the dream with the intention of cutting away the overgrowth and clearing the path through the arbor.

4/23/14 (day) Waking life

We learn that Mom has FINALLY been approved for AZ Long Term Care after a 3 1/2 month wait. That’s good news, as her financial circumstances leave her unable to afford her current Assisted Living facility any longer. The bad news? We now have to find her a place to live that accepts ALTCS within 7 days or lose her chance at coverage. This is quite challenging, given that most Assisted Living facilities in the area (including her current home) do not accept ALTCS. Of the few that do, not all will allow an upgrade to a private room. Of those, most do not have immediate availability. My sister makes a series of calls and finds 3 possible places to look at. One has a short waiting list. One is a bit farther away than we’d like. The third is not one we’ve heard of before. We decide we’ll look at them tomorrow.

4/23/14 (night) Dream Re-entry: Clearing the Way

I have not yet made any connection between the day’s waking experience and last night’s dream. But I am still determined to do the dream re-entry and clear that overgrown path.

I use Robert Moss’ drumming CD to guide my journey. I find myself at the blocked path and I begin nipping at it with my garden shears. Very soon I determine the job’s too big and this will never do. I need my big loppers. I retrieve the loppers and start to cut, but again realize the job is much too big for hand tools. I need my power hedge trimmer. I rev the engine of the trimmer and begin to easily open up the path, clearing away the overgrown brush.

I return from this journey feeling satisfied, even though I don’t really know where this path leads.

4/24/14 (morning) My sister and I head out to look at the Assisted Living facilities she’s found. A quick look at the place we hadn’t heard of leaves us feeling pretty good – it has a lovely, homelike feel and the people are very nice. This place would meet Mom’s needs, has immediate availability, allows an upgrade to a private room, and fits the budget. We decide to go to look at the other one as well, even though it’s a little farther than we’d like. It feels a little icky. Institutional. Very smarmy, salesy approach from the manager. We decide not to even look at the one with the waiting list. It seems clear that the first one we looked at is the right place for Mom.

I begin to relate the dream and dream re-entry to this search and feel as if the way has been cleared in the dream realm, making the path clearer and easier to navigate – making the right path obvious.

It doesn’t dawn on me until the next day, though, just how on target this dream is. The name of the place we chose for Mom? ARBOR Rose. The arbor path that I cleared in the dream re-entry.

There may still be some challenges before we complete this move for Mom. However, I feel confident that the way has been cleared and as long as we keep moving forward, all will be well.

(with great thanks to my sister for taking on the majority of the legwork in the waking world ~ the dream world can assist us greatly in waking life, but it still requires ACTION in the waking world to make our biggest and best dreams come true)