Often I will write to manage great moments of joy or upset in my life. I would like to share just a few of these pieces with you out of a spirit of care and deep respect for the people and places I write about.
I wonder what it’s like to be a Mum
I guess that it’d be hard and then there’s some.
The sum of all those nimbly tended sores
Delicious home cooked meals and endless chores
Like piles of dirty clothes transformed by ironing
Chats that change and turn and end in arguing.
Birthday presents cakes blown candle wishes
Soft as soap clean dirty cluttered dishes.
Yet that’s not all enjoy all that’s nutritional
There’s love the kind that’s simply unconditional.
Weddings Parties not quite
Thats the time when Stewarts
Words do sing
Celebrating family history
Gentle words of simple poetry.
And so it’s time to return favours
Acknowledge Stewart, his endeavours
On this watershed occasion
Some words of Robert Burns persuasion.
As Rabbie says in Tam O’Shanter
In his most distinctive banter
“But pleasures are like poppies spread
You seize the flower, it’s bloom is shed.”
Like us he’d wish your pleasure stay
Beyond the memories of this day
Be with you in this next decade
New memories live as old ones fade.
So Stewart it is from a distance
We wish you well upon this instance
Propose a toast to your good self
Join family and drink to your good health.
Preparing for the Inevitable
I experience an unscheduled reboot of the heart as Bryan advises that the doctors and specialists believe that mum has commenced her final stage in this life.
They suggest that we prepare for the inevitability and Bryan is exploring locations of funeral directors. Perhaps Doncaster would work.
No disrespect to Bryan, he is in the bunker dealing with the situation live. I am watching from afar, processing the news for the first time that mum will actually die, perhaps sometime soon.
I find my voice catching, not really knowing what to say anymore and trying to recover with a good news story about Elliot.
Last time I spent some time with mum only three months ago, I could tell she would not be around for too much longer. But to hear it and process it live on a WhatsApp call from Zurich to Melbourne, allows no space for negotiation.
I leave the call, upset, wondering whether I will see her alive again. Bryan says that there is hope she will be there when we arrive for his wedding in January, a month away. How long will she take to die? How long?
And what do I do in the meantime?
I am told she is spending all of her time in bed now and her reading glasses, those tools that gave her such insight and enjoyment, lay unused by her bed. If this is the life that she is moving on from then awa with ye. Find a wee dwam that takes your fancy and book your ticket Mary.
Your life has been significant, you are a brave, good soul. Pack up that soul in a wee piece and carry it with you for nurture as you journey beyond. And add us to it, two boys you introduced to the world, protected from it and allowed to prosper, always with support. Make sure there is room for dad there, the man you loved and supported indefatigably.
I am sure you will reunite with him regardless. I will chat with him soon and let him know to be ready for you. You never know he might make toasted cheese or have the tatties on for you.
Well, maybe this written expression is not necessarily what the doctor’s and staff meant by preparation. Still, as I exhale comprehensively, out of love, I am still upset, yet ready for what will become.