WHY would I spend YEARS trying to bring this woman from three CENTURIES ago back to life? WHY did so many of my plans for her turn into crumbling headstone dust?

What did she want from me?

Was I really her incarnate? I don’t think so, literally, but I do believe that it’s possible, under the right circumstances, to tap into previous lifetimes of others.

I think that’s what this might have been.

But why now? Why am I finally finishing this as less than the book I meant to write, as never the live performance I so wanted to do? Why now in 2013?

..because I am dying myself.

My arms have become as painfully thin as hers were the day she died and nearly took me with her. It is August, not March. I’m in Oregon, not New York. But all I keep thinking about is the River. How I long to just give up all the pain and misery of struggling with colon cancer and join with the River and eventually join with Everything and be free of this particular earthly life.

She DID everything she came to do. Have I? Well, I did THIS.

She left 13 grandchildren behind, outlived all of her children save Francis and buried Roger many, MANY years earlier. I am leaving one daughter, three grandchildren.

But she STARTED something and watched it flourish and died with the peace of knowing it would go on. She lived her life HER way, by HER values, and invested in what was most important to her.

Her story has so far been told as ‘Portrait of a Colonial Businesswoman’. I hope beyond hope that I was able to touch upon the WOMAN she was, on how deeply she loved those around her and the land she lived on.

Catharyna, I’m glad you got your wish to be buried beneath the pulpit of your church. I shall have half of my ashes scattered upon the Mighty Hudson River that played such a huge role in your life and called out to me to DISCOVER what I could about you. I hope I did you justice.

What I have yet to go through will somehow be easier because you allowed me to witness your death, that peaceful sleep, that sinking into the soft bed with you. It wasn’t yet MY time to go, but it will be soon. I only hope that when my time finally does come that I carry that same sense….. that I did all that I came here to do………

LadyB August 17, 2013