Maria had another Waldmeer visitor around the same time that Richard first visited. Mary’s mother, Grace, had been ill and needed to come to the city for specialist visits. Gabriel was travelling and he had offered his room to Grace and her husband, Joe, for two weeks. Mary was very worried about her mother and Charlie was worried about Mary. It was quite a worried household.
Joe was a dairyman through and through and he had not been to the city for years. As much as he would do the right thing by his wife, he couldn’t wait to get home. He was pacing the house so much that, eventually, Mary told him to go back to the cows and that she and Charlie would look after her Mum. Joe was reluctant to agree but he did. He couldn’t help singing as soon as he hit the green pastures on the way home to his four-legged loves.
As Grace wasn’t getting any better and the doctors didn’t seem to be making much difference, Charlie suggested that Grace visit Maria. “What do you have to lose?” said Charlie.
Not only did Grace visit Maria but she told Maria that her house was the only place she felt less pain and so she came every day. When Gabriel returned, it was arranged that Grace would stay in Maria’s healing room for the rest of the month and that Maria would have a break from seeing other clients. Maria asked Amira if she thought it was a good idea to let Grace stay.
“Yes, it is,” said Amira. “Grace wants to leave and so she has given herself a mysterious illness which will get her that result.”
“You mean leave life?” asked Maria.
“Why does she want to go?”
“She has been unhappy in her marriage for a long time. She wants to leave her husband but she doesn’t want to hurt anyone and she is afraid of the difficulties of such a big change. So instead of leaving Joe, she has decided to leave life thinking that that will give her some peace.”
“Is she conscious of any of this?”
“No. She has never been taught to understand her thinking and feeling processes and she finds any self-analysis frightening and disturbing.”
“Then we are starting at the beginning,” said Maria.
If Amira had a body (other than Maria’s) she would have laughed. She did say, “Good luck!”
While Grace was in Maria’s house, she felt significantly better. However, Maria knew that without Grace understanding the underlying issues, her wellness would quickly deteriorate once she left. Each day Maria suggested information to Grace about the possible thoughts that could be underlying her illness. At first, she had to be very subtle because all Grace would say about Joe was that he was a wonderful man and that she was lucky to have such a great life. However, healing has its own power and, once started, it moves ahead methodically knowing exactly what track to take for the most efficient and effective results.
One evening, all of Grace’s pain returned and more. Maria used the opening. “You were just then on the phone to Joe and he was talking about some of the things that will need attending to when you return to the farm,” said Maria. “Do you think that your pain could, in any way, be related to a feeling that you have about the farm, Joe, or your life in Waldmeer?”
Grace starting crying hysterically. Thank goodness, thought Maria. She’s getting somewhere. Maria calmly assured her that there was nothing to be afraid of and that everything would be fine. Yet, at the same time, she could not miss this window of opportunity because they can be few and far between. Or perhaps it is our willingness to approach them which is infrequent. “Imagine that your tears could talk. What would they say? Listen to them. They are trying to tell you something important.”
Grace cried even more uncontrollably. “I can’t go back,” she said. “I would rather die than go back. I feel trapped. I would so dearly love to live a little bit, live my own life, and find out things about myself before I die.”
“You can, Grace. And there is no need to die,” said Maria. “Not for a long time, anyway,” she added smiling. Grace laughed out loud. It was a free and infectious laugh; a release. Maria laughed too. She had not seen Grace smile let alone laugh.
“Perhaps, it would be possible to suggest to Joe a little break and then you can both see how things go,” said Maria. “It doesn’t have to be a big drama. There doesn’t have to be any blame. Even if he gets upset and angry, keep loving him and he will eventually see that you mean him no harm but you, also, must protect your own life path. Your first responsibility is to your own worth. Everything comes from that.”
Grace returned home but only briefly. A few weeks later, she was renting a little flat in a pretty street, near the river, in the town closest to Waldmeer. It was a bigger town than Waldmeer and Grace was very happy with all the opportunities it presented her. Joe was a complaining, bumbling mess when Grace left but to everyone’s surprise, after a few months, he pulled himself together and started to adjust to life as a single man. He even asked a local widower out on a date. She was more than thrilled to have the company of an eligible man. She thought Joe was very handsome and manly. Joe was starting to enjoy life beyond his cows.
As for Grace, she was blessed beyond anything an onlooker could perceive. Even her own daughter, Mary, did not really understand the change that was happening in her mother. Maria did. She heard it in her voice whenever Grace called. Maria knew the angels were blessing her and she was becoming very close to God. Her little bit of courage was so greatly rewarded beyond anything Grace would have expected or even dreamed. The return of her health was merely the first step.
After a while, Grace and Joe started to catch up for coffee in Grace’s new town. Joe would dress up as if he was going on one of his, by now, many dates. They would sit in the cafe and talk about the family, the farm, and Waldmeer. This day, as they parted, Grace reached over and kissed Joe on the cheek. She had much love for him, yet, she would never return to him. Something in the kiss shocked Joe.
“That is the first time you have voluntarily kissed me in ten years,” he said quietly as he wiped a tear from his eye. He shuffled his feet and then walked off saying he would pay the bill.
As they left the shop, Grace turned to him to say, “Thank you for the coffee.”
Joe stopped her, “No, Grace, it is I who must thank you.” He again started to cry and quickly turned for the car mumbling, “I’ll see you soon.” He straightened his suit jacket and tie and waved as if he had many important things to attend to.