My mom would have been 72 years old this Wednesday Aug 10,2016. Maxine Zylla. The last birthday I celebrated with her was when she turned 47 years old, in 1991. She died of metastatic breast cancer that year in October. It had spread to her liver and her bones. She was a fighter.Even until the day she took her last breath she was to leave for Oregon for an alternative medicine focus on treating cancer with my Aunt Cathy who was flying in that day. That day I held her hand and her head in my arms. She apologized for leaving and I said it was okay, I understood. It was time for her to leave. Her pain wasn’t worth my grief and life without a mother. I watched her heart stop beating, the alarm went off. I said no do not resuscitate to the doctor outside ICU. We had those conversations over Hallmark shows and I knew her wishes. I was 13 when she passed on.
I share this story because she is why I am on the path I am. She is why I have turned to other forms of healing and medicine. She introduced me to the power of touch because I massaged her daily to help ease her pain. I would pray on the floor while she slept for healing hands because there was nothing in life I wanted more than to see my mom not suffer. Her fight with cancer lasted 5 years. I went along with her to her chemo treatments, sat in the cold, white walled room while watching the IV slowly drip in her veins. There were no fancy recliners or ports at that time. It was just a chair desk and an IV. It was my mom and me. I was 8 years old when I started this journey.
People ask me how I got into this world of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Did I experience a moment with acupuncture myself? Did it cure something for me and that is why I pursued it? No. I was always fascinated with Chinese philosophy. I loved the Tao, Lao Tzu, and Confucius words of wisdom. The five elements and the belief that the body was truly magnificent and all it needed was a gardener to tend its soil. That health was a part of the spiritual, the emotional, and the physical. How anger can hurt you so much deeper than you know…my mom suffered from anger. And how that anger makes you sick. My mom had books. These books and books of Edgar Cayce and Louis Hay. And I would read them all, study them. I was fascinated and I saw how these different approaches and methods brought her more relief than what her doctor did.
The night she died I went outside to a park. I had a conversation with my best friend at the time. I looked at the sky, the stars from the swing I was on and I knew my life had changed. That my life was no longer just about me. It was greater and I had to be greater. I made a choice to be true, to follow my calling. From that day on I would only go up, I would only be present, be compassionate, and truly do what I could to help another human being.
This is why I do what I do.
- Heal thyself
- The plight of the acupuncturist