Sunday, April 17, 2011

Share Your Max Story!

Heather is asking us all to record the incredible openings that are happening within our own hearts. These are the miracles, the blessings, the shifts we are each making to embody and share Max's teachings. Please share your stories inspired by the EXTRA ORDINARY power of a Teacher named Maximilian Ka'hanu Bumblebee Heintz.

31 comments:

Kimberly said...

Max you are a teacher, Heather you are his #1 protege and portal. Thank you mama Heather and Jen Z for catching up technology to support the greatness of Max. Globally there are so many participating in grief over his little body that is no longer here with us, and participating equally in the extraordinary teachings he has left us with, and has asked us to participate in personally. Thanks for doing this. My high fives are happening everywhere. Arbonne, regular job and personal life. Passed a big hard test with Max by my side. I'm nicer, listen better and feel a stronger sense of grounding and purpose than ever before on this planet. Thank you...and I have the sense this is just the warm up phase.

Kimberly said...

one of my newer Arbonne business partners just told me to high five! See... it's rippling!

JenZen said...

There have been so many incredible Max Moments that one day I hope to share them all. But I am so moved by the events of today that I am crying while I type this.

Heather gave me the task to register her with the National Milk Bank so she can donate her breast milk for a year to sick babies all over the world. The job was much bigger than I expected, and included research, phone calls, emails, forms, etc....

Finally we decided on the Mother's Milk Bank located in Colorado. 25% of Max Milk will go to babies in Africa with AIDS and 75% will go to babies in intensive care units across the US. Heather has been pumping milk 5-8x/day and freezing it in baggies. Every time I witness her do this I am so moved, sometimes my heart overflows so much it leaks out of my eyes.

Today we went to the lab and had her blood drawn. The box sent to us by the Milk Bank was finally read to be shipped back! 280 oz of frozen breast milk, 4 lbs of dry ice, paperwork, 3 tubes of blood, appropriate stickers on the outside of the box (which required two trips between the lab and home to retrieve forgotten stuff)and a call to Fed EX.

By this time I had left Heather at home to pump more milk. I waited at the lab for the Fed Ex man and couldn't bear to part with the box, so I walked with him to his truck. I told him that the box was filled with Breast Milk for sick babies. He looked me right in the eyes and we both watered up.

Heather, you are a hero. I love you. I love Max. You both continue to break my heart open again and again, and I keep moving deeper into it. Thank you for giving this gift.

JZ

Amy said...

Opening to Love! HighFiveMax!

With a full heart thank you, Jeniffer, for continuing to communicate this magnetic connection we have shared with elegance and dignity.

Heather, I send my love and gratitude for your Amazing Heart and sharing of this expansion and directive of teachings through this time. Your inspiration has led me to grow through your lessons and examining my own heart and my ability allow or resistance letting love in. This self exploration has continued to extend from my family, friends and classes. Your inspiration has refueled a respectful spiritual awareness to the practice of balancing of strength and vulnerability.

Minute by minute I am grateful by the depth and beauty and graced by this presence in my life. Tears and wonder encourage expanding this awareness in thoughts and feelings leading to the exploration of letting go and what that means. It all continues to evolve as such a total practice of Love and of the heart. Max's guidance and impact remind me of many things to reflect in, including balancing of standing strong and yet letting go. HighFiveMax! for the evolution of leadership in Letting Love In... again and again…

Opening to the greatest expression of love brings the sensitivity to feel all of love, the full spectrum... the unexpected is… the spectrum is ever expanding. To this expansion of the heart I honor the fullness of love...overflowing. Sometimes it feels so big I wonder if I can expand. Thank you for the pictures posted - they are so wonderful. It is so sweet to see all of you- so much love.

Letting Love In!
Amy

kimberly said...

Thanks JZ for giving us more of an in depth perspective to the commitment that is going into Heather being a MamaMilkmaid to hundreds of babies. As if the commitment to pump for a year isn't a humongous act of love in it's own right!!!

The primary relationship that I deemed worthy of healing was with myself - is with myself. Giving myself permission to open up and let my self-love in - not just the judgy-judger part in.... easer said than done. But I'm DOING it now in a way I have never before! Thanks Max. And as a result my daughter Grace will benefit greatly. I love you Max.

And maybe to most this may not make any sense, but to a select few it will totally click. My deeply driven visceral response to the power of Max in our lives/my life is to join Roller Derby.

What a great venue to jump in, learn something completely new, humble down, get tossed around, ask for more, be aware, be present, get tossed around some more, ask for more even yet, and smile the whole time. It's wild, it's coming from a deep place and it's vivid. So Max?... I know you can hear me... this is your Aunty KimmyG... otherwise known as Maximus Kim

kimberly said...

Maximus Kimpact!!! - I got cut off..... oops.

Noelani said...

I scralled this on a stained peice of paper while sitting in the woods here in pescolido. This is for my dear sister heather. I love you.

17 april 2011 Pescolido, italy
Daer max kahanu bumblebee heintz,
What a gentle and loving spirit you have sweet one! I feel blessed to witness your joyful dance with the whistling wind and swaying trees here in the foothills of the central appinine mountains. These fruit trees, every delicious flavour i know your would love: cherry, pomegranete, apple, pear, fig, plum... grape vines, olive trees, they all join in your celebration.
As i sit here i am coming to realize that springtime is not souly about the new aliveness of nature, it serves to teach us about the strength of cycles in this natural world. how death can nurture and compost the continuation of life and aide in its triving quality. i can see here that though dark clouds have filled the sky, this tree will still open its new buds in the coming months, to provide its true abundance of fuit. This is a gift.
Such gifts lie in the quiet moments when we can revel in your celebreaton, and appreciate the explosion of life teeming around us...
Many tears have watered the earth since your birthday, and i know that there are many more to come. My eyes fill up as I sit here. But for now I thank you for joining me an my ukulele in spirit on my travels. I have been playing your song on along my way to those who do not know you yet but feel your warmth surrounding them. You have been with me wherever i go, touching lives and opening hearts wide. i am in reverence of your wisdom. Thank you for being my teacher.
With great love, aloha, and gratitude,
your auntie Noe

JenZen said...

I told this story to some, but wanted to put it down here for posterity.

On Wednesday, March 30th (the day that Max passed through this world) I was in Sedona and a whole flock of all-white doves flew over me. My friend and I had accidentally turned down the a long, windy road that turned out to be a wrong turn, and at the end of it we saw the birds. There was a whole flock, and every single one was completely white. It was so unusual.

I looked at the time and it was 1:19pm. I have this strange agreement with the Universe about that number, and so I knew it was a sign. Both my friend, Mel, and I were stunned by the unusual sight. I knew they were Angels.

Since then, the white dove has shown up at mysterious times, and I believe each time it is a message from Max to let us know we are on the right track and that he is still with us even though his little body is gone.

On the day that Heather got her "Be Vulnerable Tattoo", which is another amazing story itself, I decided to get a little tattoo of a dove on my heart Chakra for Max and as a reminder that my inner guru dwells within my own heart.

Thanks Max! I love you!

Elisa said...

Heather was an Earth Mother to me before she was pregnant, but now it is official. Through the Milk Bank, she and Max will spread love and sustenance throughout the world, both literally and metaphorically. May all be fed, may all be healed, may all be loved.

I am awestruck by Heather, who, always the yogi, works the alchemy of turning any experience into gold: Max's milk as seva.

Love to you, Max, and Jen.

bird said...

Normally I'm not too fond of posting publicly. But Max says I must!
Last night I couldn't sleep (beautiful radiant mother moon) and so I nestled into my favorite chair, trying to meditate but Max had to speak to me. Again I looked outside and found myself asking...MAX- who are you? Max- who am I? I wondered, I pondered, I realized. The answer, "We are THAT". But what is THAT? It is radical love in relationship.
Thank you Max for continuing to remind me (us) that WE are THAT.

Mary said...

Oh Momma Heather........you are in my thoughts daily. Your joy for life and spirit of love and acceptance is so powerful and encompassing. Max's brief visit with us is a constant reminder for me that we are only given one moment at a time...all we have is the present. For me that awareness allows daily life to be all that more special......This being human is a guest house.....Rumi. May your nourishment created for Max provide health and wellness to so many other babies. I love you.......xoxo

Drew said...

It wasn't Max that got me crying HH, it was you.

Heidi Huelster said...

This was written earlier, but it feels right to post it here.

As I write this I am nestled in the woods of Minnesota surrounded by family and smelling spring all around me. Rebirth.
> Max is on my mind as I watch his cousins help their Grandma garden, dig in the dirt and enjoy their “chores.”
> We all strongly feel his presence and when we talk about him they remind each other that Max had to go back to being an angel.
> We draw pictures of him with wings and balancing on a rainbow.
> He asks us to hug a little longer, a little tighter, listen better and to pay better attention and honor each others needs and feelings a little more carefully and with patience.
> He doesn’t demand, but gently taps us on the shoulder saying, “this doesn’t really matter,” and “this is love, use it.”
> Be still. Breathe.
> Max asks me to heal all relations with courage and grace. I follow his lead and dial a phone number.
> The story of surprise seeing three baby owls by the river makes me smile; knowing that Max is offering comfort to the viewer as I touch my three baby owl pendant that holds pictures of my three children.
> The lessons are being learned because the wisdom was there and we said, “I will.”
> Thank you Max. I love you. I love your mama.

SuzyDuck said...

Driving down a MN highway today in the snow, above me woven into a fence on the overpass:

Let Love In

Thank you Max!

StellarMom said...

Still trying to gather my thoughts, so
I can truly express my love and gratitude to Heather and Max, but I just wanted to share with you all~ Tomorrow is "National High Five Day"... Thank you Max, Love you Heather.

jessica said...

Heather -- you inspire me to expand my heart EVEN MORE and to work through those relationships that aren't as tightly woven as they could be. I'm blessed to know you and have this ongoing dialogue from afar, it's helping me grow stronger and to learn the depths and love that a kula has to offer.
I can't wait to put my arms around you and give you a HUGE hug. LOVE YOU so much and we're just getting to know each other. Jess

Heidi Huelster said...

max is so special about the monkey god. i know because of heather and the tattoo. my teacher is so caring for max and heather. i talk to max's angel.
-Mimi (Max's cousin, age 6)

Heidi Huelster said...

i love you max. i am happy that you are my angel.
Zoe (Max's cousin, age 3)

Heidi Huelster said...

i love you max.
Howard (Max's cousin, age 3)

April said...

It's with tears streaming that I have read these posts. Today, on the one month anniversary of your birth I feel the great love your spirit brought to us. Your 8 days opened up huge channels and connected so many to your spirit circle. I am very grateful to you, sweet Max. Through your journey earthside I have been blessed with a new daughter. Your mama carried you with such pride and honor and she displayed such strength and grace when she birthed your beautiful body. Thank you Max for allowing me to be midwife to you and your mama. My new connections through the journey with you and your mama are wondrous. I have been blessed with intense moments of joy and sorrow in this life but attending your mama as she gave birth to you is amongst my most precious of memories, equal to the births of my own children and grandchildren to come. Our life, here on earth goes on and though you chose to stay but a brief time you have helped all of us who know your story to learn already agreed upon lessons. I ask you to keep us all connected with the golden light of your spirit.
I look forward to our energy merging when the veil is lifted. I thank you for the gift of my daughter, Heather. My heart has stretched open wide this last month, just like in birth, and I am grateful, Max, thank you.

sasha said...

Dear Max,

On Wednesday, when I got a text from your Mama about this blog, I was sitting in my car in Paauilo, Hawaii. You and your mother are never far from my mind, these days. Usually, I am tearing myself away from the PTSD like re-run scenarios that curtsy incessantly through my mind, so that I can get done what needs doing. Really, I just want to curl up with my journal, my Baha’i prayer book, my chanting voice, and a microphone so I can record for myself and your mother the moments of transcendence that begin to make some sense of my own nonsense.

Dear Max. Little Max. Lovely Max. Dear little lovely, Max. I click on the blog link, not sure what I’ll find. Do I want to read? Will it make me feel more connected? More disconnected? At that exact moment, a yellow-billed cardinal with a bright red head lands inches from my body on the driver's side windowsill of my car. It gazes directly at me, singing, looking, and stays for what feels like minutes. In wonder, I hold his gaze and my breath and say in my heart, "Hello Max." I smile and you do a little dance in my heart.

As our friend flies off, Max, I suck in air, bolstered with confidence, and click on the first comment posted by Kim P. Deep sigh. Disconnect. It is so sweet. And yet. For me. Disconnect. What is wrong with me?

And then our friend lands on the passenger-side windowsill. He sings our song again, Max, urgently snaps me to attention, bobs up and down, reprimands me, and flies off.

Blink. Blink. Turn head. Look straight out the front window.

Ok, Max. Thank you. I see the balance. It is ever there. "Protect us from what lieth in front of us, and behind us, above our heads, on our left, on our right, below our feet, and every other side to which we are exposed." I see the before and the after and the in between, Max. I know it is all about unconditional love and letting go and expecting nothing in return. I know I will get there. Goodness. How birds do fly every which way. "Lo, the Nightingale of Paradise singeth upon the twigs of the Tree of Eternity, with holy and sweet melodies..."

Disconnection is ok. It’s real. And without it, how could we know connection and the radical call to loving Self that true connection requires?

Dear Max. Little Max. Lovely Max. Dear little lovely, Max. I will keep writing, and reading, and chanting, and loving. Rani in my arms. Bodhi gazing sweetly into my face. Ron saying, “Good work, Williams.” Little moments of transcendence. A yellow-billed cardinal with a bright red head landed inches from my body and loved everything about me. I think I can do that, too. I think I can reconnect.

High Five, MAX! Love to yo Motha!
Auntie Sasha

karen said...

Dearest Heather love love love you are AMAZING. I am humbled by your strength, your love, your wisdom and your teachings. You are a gift and are continually inspiring. Thank you. Dearest Max, I have not met you but I know you, you have already touched my heart. Thank you so much for your teachings, for your ability to touch hearts minds and souls, for your presence. Tears of sadness tears of graditude, the world is a brighter place. Here's to you, a big smile and a virtual cuddle! Lots of Love always ~ Karen
Aotearoa/New Zealand

HighFiveMax said...

This letter is from Marcia Tullous, sent on April 28 at 8:50am:

"Dear Heather and Max,

It's taken me a while to gather my thoughts and try to put down in words the way in which you both have touched and changed my life. I guess I will start at the beginning...

I first met and saw you, Heather, during phase two of the Anusara Immersion here in Tucson. I attended because I was given the opportunity to do so. During that immersion I was actually just trying to process the loss of my own pregnancy, so it was a difficult time but I was there. What I remember when I first saw you, was how much I liked you and how much you reminded me of myself in some ways. I was sure we must have a lot in common.

You and I connected immediately and got along like old friends. We continued
to get to know each other via the internet and a little time spent together during
a following teacher training. I remember feeling so excited and happy for you, Heather, and your growing baby and blossoming belly. You looked radiant, healthy and happy.

Throughout the course of your pregnancy with Max, I followed you with joy, as I was not to far behind you with my own growing baby and belly. It's a very sweet and special thing to have a friend who is on a similar journey and preparing to welcome a new soul into the world.

What I most appreciate about you, though, Heather, is your ability to just be your beautiful self. You are solid and strong and so full of life. As Max grew and your belly followed, I especially appreciated how much you enjoyed your pregnancy. I love that you had such a happy pregnancy and can tell you embraced every aspect of this wondrous time in your life.

As this story has unfolded with it’s unexpected turn of events, I am in awe of your strength and the message of Love that Max brought with him into this world. What I have gleaned from this heartbreaking yet heart opening experience is this:

From you, Heather, I have learned what it means to be fully present with what is. To walk the path in front of you with your eyes and heart wide open. You have shown such Grace under pressure and really found a way to turn the difficult into the bearable. You have created something so beautiful out of something so tragic and painful with your willingness to share your story, your heartbreak, yours and Max’s milk with babies around the world. I am so grateful to know you and call you my friend. I greatly admire and adore you. I know I can do nothing to ease your pain, but I can be that something solid for you lean on and that something soft for you to fall into when you need it most.

From Max I have been reminded to love more deeply and fully in every moment because every second counts and life is so fleeting. He has brought so many people together and taught us all the true meaning of community. Max has helped us cross the sea and any perceived physical boundaries to be there for each other in very real way. He has shown us all that a physical line is merely in the mind and that being there for one another has everything to do with the willingness and openness of our hearts.

I really do not think this is the last we will see of Max. My heart says he will be back and this is just the beginning of his work. I believe that some souls are gifted with the ability to be in both worlds, I think he is one of those souls. He is meant to bring the two worlds together. So even though Max is not here to hold in your arms, he is yours, Heather, to hold forever in your heart. I know that does nothing to ease the longing you feel to hold his little body against yours, but I hope just knowing he is with you helps in some way.

I have a feeling this story will continue to unfold and your magnificent beauty and strength will continue to be revealed.

Please know that there is a world of Love around you, Heather, and the arms of the world are here to embrace and hold you close.

All My Love,
Marcia"

sasha said...

4/29/11

Dear Max,

Your birth town, of Hilo, Hawaii, is gloriously alight with sunshine today, and the trade winds are delicious, singing through sky high palm trees towering above the street across my house. Winds often draw my attention to the spirit world. And today I have a few minutes to share another story inspired by the breath of your short life. Dear Max. Little Max. Lovely Max. Smile.

Once upon a time, it was Monday evening. March 28th. And your spirit was yet tethered to your body in the physical plane. I had been receiving regular texts from your Mother all through the prior week about the struggle to keep you here, and my own body often found its way onto knees in prayer and chanting and pleading with the gods. Moments of transcendent attunement that lifted me above the heaviness sinking my heart.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I spend my Monday evenings, joyously, in the company of pregnant mothers. Almost every week for over three years now, I have been teaching the prenatal yoga class at Balancing Monkey. Your own mother, Heather Bear, joined me for that class many times in the final months and weeks of her pregnancy. “I love this class,” she said one night. “I feel like I’ve been missing out for 6 years.” Yes. There is something very special about our prenatal yoga class. A kind of depth and sharing not just of yoga, but of life, anticipation, eagerness, sorrow, fear, hope, love, and connection.

But on Monday, March 28th, it was purely an act of devotion to show up and offer class. Because I did not want to go, and I did not want to be there. There, where your life had come into this world and then begun to pass out of it only 6 days before. There, where I had not been engaged to play a role in guiding, embracing, holding, protecting or watching over you and your mother at birth, as I thought was the plan.

Where we sit, as teacher’s at Balancing Monkey, is just above the spot where you made your grand entrance, Little One. My own emotions, standing just above that space, were like a damn held in by the eyes at every moment. I didn’t even kid myself about preparing for class. There is no way to prepare to say, “Our dear friend, Heather, is in Oahu with her 6 day old baby, Max, who is struggling to breathe on his own.” Especially not to a room full of pregnant mothers. It was all I could do to show up and hold space.

CONTINUED NEXT BLOG POST

sasha said...

(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)

Dear little, lovely, lightly Max. I was wholly not expecting, and also so grateful, for what I found at the Monkey that night.

It was a hui of Hawaiian women; powerful, pregnant, beautiful, Hawaiian women. Daughters of the Goddess Pele, come to administer to my sick heart. A few of them didn’t even know your mother, and had heard nothing of your birth. Our own Ku’ulani was there, of course. I’d talked with her earlier in the day and shared your mother’s request that she chant your name in class. She did that: “e Kahanu ola e, e ola pono e, e ola pono no,” and so much more. The studio fairly vibrated in accord with your spirit; everyone felt that, surely.

And then there was ‘Oli. She sat right next to Ku’u; they’ve known each other for years. If you leave off the ‘okina, and just say “oli”, the word means “chant that was not danced to.” If you include it, “‘Oli”, it means “joy, happiness, pleasure.” I like to think of her as both. Ku’u didn’t know she was coming that night. It was ‘Oli’s first time in the studio, first time doing yoga. She is pregnant with her 4th child. And she lost her third child a little more than a year ago, a daughter, when she was just 3 months old. An unfortunate, tragic, preventable accident that stole her from her mother’s arms.

‘Oli shared her story, tears audible behind dry eyes, with all of us in our opening circle. Courageous, radical, heart-warming. Had I not been teaching, I would love to have bowed down right there and cried another three days straight. ‘Oli is filled with a living light that is a gift to everyone around her. As Ku’u said, “she lifts us all up. She’s the one who lost her baby, and yet it is she who lifts us all up.” Dear Max. This is a strange paradox, isn’t it? Your mother is exactly this way. Bless her living, loving soul.

The Friday before your birth, I was up in Volcano when I talked with her last. She was getting ready to go for a night of tango with her mother and her midwife, to try to get the labor going. It’s the last time we really talked, and our conversation was charged with love and abundance and sister-blessings. “I’m going to chant and say prayers, Heather, for you and Max in the forest.” “Oh good,” she said. “I’m really feeling a strong connection with Pele, lately.” No kidding? Pele? The goddess of destruction and new creation? Well...holy of holies. We don’t get more paradox, or more possibility, than that, now, do we?!

Thank you, Max Spirit, and thank you, Goddess Pele, for bringing ‘Oli and Ku’u and everyone else to the Monkey that night, and in all the days that have followed. May we all continue to hold space for you and Heather, be real about our loss, but not lost in it. Let us all lift and be lifted.

Lightning bugs, birdies, bumblebees, and Shel Silverstein,
Auntie Sasha Kisses-on-the-Forehead

bird said...

Marvelous Masterminds,

What a blessing to have been at the Monkey, holding space, while we had our conversation on Saturday. When we finally ended our call it was 5:39, there was 20 minutes left in the workshop...so I entered just at the right moment (High5 Max) for the finale meditation. My heart was full and humming...I wanted to tell the class that they should have heard what I just heard!
As I sat, a tear rolled from my right eye, then one from my left, then right, then left...they converged in a stream on my chest and filled the space between my boobs in my top. I asked myself why I was crying and there was no answer- no sadness, no joy. I feel that I cried with GRATITUDE to be a part of this experience...to have each and every one of you in my life.

I met a couple of friends for a picnic at the park afterwards and there were more tears- more processing, more GRATITUDE. I tried to describe how soft Max's skin was...unlike any baby's I've ever touched (even my own baby's skin). My friend told me that is because his skin was the LIGHT. There are no words to describe the soft radiant perfection for Max's skin, so full of LIGHT and pure LOVE.

I came home to my husband who I had ditched on the weekend...I felt like I had been unfair and selfish. I looked into his eyes and told him how much I loved him and that I was ready to BE VULNERABLE with him. Yes, Masterminds, I have made the pledge to fall as deeply in love with him as I can even though I know he will die someday. Avoiding that pain is no excuse for not living in LOVE to its fullest each and every day until death do us part.

One month later and it seems like yesterday...it always will. You will always be so very close and dear in my heart, sweet precious Max.

Thank you for sharing your LIGHT and transformational growth and beautiful stories with me. It brightens the way for my path. We have much ahead of us...our work is to be ambassadors. May we continue to heed the calling and deliberately live the message. May the sheer power of our friendships give us strength and encouragement. We are in this together for evermore.

I send you a humming heart, wide open with boundless love and wings wrapped around you in a huge hug,
Jennifer (bird)

Kimberly said...

A big important heart day masterminds.
A month ago a baby boy left this world, and it marked the start of a journey for each of us.
Thanks for being on the phone call and sharing the stories of daily reminders of our bumblebee teacher.
Max is smiling on his masterminds. We are walking in his teachings. each of us as individuals and a part of a greater whole.

Let love in, and out and back in again. all the time, with yourself and with strangers... daily

Love
KP
Masterminds I love you so much and am so grateful for us. We are an amazing heart force. Spreading love in an epic fashion

Marcia Tullous said...

I have read every one of these stories and am so moved. What an amazing group of people this is. I love every single one of you even though some of us have not yet met in person. So glad to meet such beautiful people on the internet waves and the bigger, deeper, more profound waves of Love.

With Love and a Grateful Heart,

Marcia

mmmary said...

Unwinding tightliy bound knots in the scar tissue of our souls, in the muscles of our soles, in the knots in our sol streaked pony tails.
letting the years of trapped tears out, these wings were always meant to be free.
light ahead is calling us to meet it raw, and tall and strong.
Break down to build up. allow it in allow it out. We do this together, in cycles with all of life, all of the universe. YOU are never alone.

"The morning glory which blooms for an hour
Differs not at heart from the giant pine,
Which lives for a thousand years."

Thank you Max, I am remembering the light we all came from, you brought it here and left it for us to bathe in.
Thank you Heather, you are a motherly inspiration and a raw truthful beauty in all of your works, thank you for bringing that beam of light into our world. I will help shine it through as long as long as I exist. So much love. love. light and love.

Nora said...

May 9, 2011
Ah Heather. This is Nora, dear. I have a story to tell you.
I am now back in Hilo, but Noe and Malia and I heard of Max's passing in a text to Noe from Chole, between Germany and Amsterdam, on a train. The weight on our hearts took away all other sensations or sights or sounds. I remember little but the loss of those hours.
After the blur of grief for Noe, for you ,for Max, for ourselves, and for the world, we proceeded broken to our plane, Malia to London, then Noe & I to the tube, then the train to south England. Our travel path was set, from our German hanai family (for the past 41 years)in the small Niedersachsen town of Haselunne, to our English hanai family (for all of Noe’s 20 years) in the small Victorian town of Eastbourne on the coast.
This was somehow the perfect place for us to be for the next few days, in the irony that is life.
My dear friend Elke, husband Rupert, and their 6 daughters and son, surrounded us, and we rested in the hive of love and activity this incredible family engenders. Noe & I absorbed the love we had waited so long to embrace again. Not to laugh with them was impossible, but we cried later in our bed. Noe said in that dark night she did not know how her heart could ever sing her song of “Max Kahanu Heintz Is Here”again.
A sobering note in the symphony of joy and laughter for our English family, was the children’s grandmother, sitting thin on the couch with her little spaniel, and spending her last days with her family. She was dying of cancer, not in pain, but not able to eat. Each of us took a turn to anticipate her needs. In the midst of such bounding life as this family, death took a chair as well.
But on that early first morning after we arrived, the great heartbreaking beauty of the early English Spring, required us both to search for the new growing life in Elke's cottage garden, and some hope in our souls.
On young apple branches, we found it in silken full buds just broken into barely blushed bloom.
We found it in the row of saffron daffodils, just now open, and standing at attention to welcome spring again.
We found it in the tender tendrils of clematis climbing up walls and thru screens and onto trellis tops, promising their gifts of blossom later, in the heat of summer.
We found it in the robin she spied making his cheeky hop-hop ,chirp-chirp across the florescent green lawn to the chaise, as Noe lay waiting in the sumptuous fullness of the growing light & warmth.
Under brown Autumn grasses, we found it in the crocuses that would not be denied their brief intense bright life on this day.
Max was there, like the crocus, taking his turn on this sweet earth.
How was it we found hope, in the midst of our sorrow? Because of Max and because of you, we had to allow the hope of Spring to assuage our sorrow, and awaken our souls to the life that was bursting out around us. (continued)

Nora said...

Our spirits lifted by nature, Elke and I walked, deep in our long friendship talk,our arms linked, along the sea in the bright daylight, coming home hours later to a Mother’s Day surprise: A lovely luncheon made by the children. They had decorated the old glass conservatory attached to the house, and made a decadent meal of savories and sweets for the family, including aunts, and uncles and cousins. Pansies and primroses bloomed early in the warmth of the glass house, as we crowded together in the midst of flowers and food and teapots. Grandma was toasted as the incredible matriarch of this clan, as she sat smiling with her little dog on her lap.
I was struck by the irony: what a great gift to be able to spend her last days, alert, surrounded by the loves of her life, in the intensely, vibratingly alive place we inhabited together that day. A magic embraced and washed over all of us. What a wonderful way to face the ending of life, feeling the weightless support of a loving family. Death, taking a chair, stayed in the background and the living we all did was sweet that day.
After the food disappeared, and the men disappeared to soccer, the 10 women remained, from age 11 to 83, in an even closer knit group around the table. Noe took out her Uke, and played “When I’m 64” accompanied by our many female voices in the fading light of afternoon. She exhausted her repertoire, then sat quietly. At that time, I felt it right to share with the girls and women, about you and Max. Then I asked Noe if she could play “Max’s Song.”
Noe hesitated, but picked up her Uke, and brought her shining voice and words to that table, to those girls and women, and to you and Max, and to all who love you. Tears glistened like Max’s diamonds in every eye as we shared the loss for the world of little Max, who Noe and I wanted so much to meet and hold, and watch grow in Hilo.
In the very early light of the next morning dawn, my Elke came to Noe & I and said that she and Rupert were going to take Grandma to the pool to swim. In her life, she had always loved to swim, and to my amazement they were helping her get to the water one more time. Would we wait for them? Yes.
On their return, Elke’s beautiful face was shining. She described how Grandma had loved walking in the warm water, supported by both she and Rupert. Entering the deep water, she reached out and stroked with her arms, making once again the effort to move on her own in life’s liquid. “It is so wonderful to be weightless again….I’ve missed it so.” Her happiness was so complete, in so simple an experience, the water, and the support and weightless joy it brought her one time again. She was complete and whole and healthy in that moment in time, then brought her joy home to the couch.
As we talked of her happiness, again Max and you came clearly to me, thinking of his birth in your Monkey Home, in the big birth tub. Max and Grandma have shared an experience we all can return to: the weightless light of life’s liquid, the endless sea. What an incredible time that must have been for you Heather. I know you can relive that joy whenever you go down to the sea, because Max is endless, like the sea.
Heather, as I hear your words of Max in your many- linked world, in your family, and in your Monkey friends, I know those days we spent in England mirrored the powerful belief you have in Max’s role in our universe. He truly is a teacher, a teacher of great and inspiring mysteries. And so are you Heather, so are you my dear one.
Thank you, Max & Heather, for entering and being in my life. Much Love, Nora (and Noe)