A Better Place

by Rumi

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival…

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Elaine C. Robustelli, my mother dear, the true personification of elegance, grace, love of life, and always, always, always good manners. That was my mom. And I am writing this today not because she died, but rather, because she lived. She was an extraordinary & inspiring lady. Lady in every sense of the word. She was the best. She loved the best. She strived to share the best with all those around her. She was also one of the smartest, most forward thinking women I have ever had the privilege to know. My mom knew about things when they were just a thought, found restaurants that only the locals dined in, and brought us to obscure places rich in history, culture, and creative Avant Garde. This was all before the phrase “Just Google it” was in our vocabulary. I don’t know how my mom knew about all of this or how she had the ability to make the multitude of arrangements for our excursions. All via LAND LINE telephone, Fax, or dare I say, snail mail?!? But she did. And I had the luxury of going along for the glorious ride.
And then there is the Love. The incredible loyalty, devotion, and partnership that was formed with my equally as wonderful Dad. If ever there was testimony to the power of love, it is the bond my mom and dad shared for 60 years. Their “song” was, no IS and will ever be “True Love”. Cannot tell you how many times I was present when they broke out into spontaneous song singing that to one another.
My mom always lived life to its fullest, with true zest & zeal. Until the horrible disease of dementia took over her body. It was OK at first. She would be in good spirits, joking about how she was becoming forgetful and could not
remember where she put things anymore. But over the course of this 3 years passed, I watched my mother gradually lose all control of her physical being, and become completely unable to communicate. I share this with you because the experience has truly brought the yogic teachings into my reality. My mothers’ body no longer served her. It became evident to me that it was just a container. And at the end, I believe it was holding her bright beacon of light & spirit hostage. She was meant to shine, she was meant to laugh, sing, and dance. I am quite certain; she is doing that once again.
I am so grateful for the abundance of love & support from all my extended Nanda family. Your positive energy and genuine connection has been a godsend during this difficult time. I was at a loss for words when Deb told me that the community raised funds to donate in my mother’s name. The sentiment brought my Dad to tears. He has asked that the donation be made to St. Mary’s by the Sea which is the parish in Far Rockaway where my mom was born and lived for much of her life.
with respect