Elizabeth Lesser on her mother’s final gift

When we create our stories each week, one of the most agonizing decisions is what to call people. How do you distill a life—in the case of our storytellers, an otherworldly life—into the three or four words of a title scroll?

Today we celebrate mothers. On the surface, that’s lovely—flowers, love notes, brunch, chocolate, sleeping in. Ahh, sleeping in.  OK, so, maybe just a little deeply lovely, too.

But our cultural narrative around “mothers” distances us from unearthing the potency of what it truly means to mother.

The might and power of mother is a verb—an action and a way of being.  Life requires that each us, men and women alike, learn how to mother. We mother ourselves through acts of radical self-care necessary to heal our wounds. We mother in our relationships when we help our siblings, friends, spouses, and children remember who they are, and offer a soft place to land.

Let’s celebrate the fierce, mysterious love that comes from creating life. And let’s also celebrate the transformational power of mothering, in all its complexities. If your love has nurtured or sustained another, you’ve mothered.

To you we offer this gift:  a daughter’s story.

Elizabeth Lesser is also a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a best-selling author, the co-founder of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a world-renowned destination for wellness and lifelong learning in New York’s Hudson Valley, a frequent guest on both the Oprah Winfrey Show and Super Soul Sunday, a beloved teacher and sought after speaker.

But the most impressive thing about Elizabeth is that she radiates a penetrating love that nourishes.

In the presence of spiritual leaders like Elizabeth, it’s not surprising to be captivated. But after spending deep time in intimate conversation with Elizabeth, I realized that the field of love we stepped into isn’t just her reflection.  She’s somehow found a way to hold a mirror up to show me all that’s good inside.

If that’s not authentic love, I don’t know what is.

In this story, Elizabeth invites us into the most intimate space: her own mother’s deathbed. There, surrounded by her three sisters, she witnesses the last gift her mother will ever give.

The longer version of this story, with breathtaking, mystical twists, can be found in Lesser’s gorgeous memoir, Marrow. In Marrow, which we will highlight in Part Two of our conversation with Elizabeth, Lesser writes about being the perfect bone marrow match with her sister Maggie. While undergoing a bone marrow transplant procedure, they also decide to courageously explore the marrow of their souls, strengthening themselves to a new capacity to hold loss, love, and each other.

But for now, we leave you with this Mother’s Day offering: a beautiful story of a mother’s final act of love.

To learn more from Elizabeth, attend Omega’s 2017 Women & Power Retreat, where she’ll be a featured presenter:

And visit Elizabeth Lesser to order her books, read her blog, and learn more about Omega Institute.

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