These are photo’s of the actual handwritten pages. I was able to actually deliver it to her, and she was laid to rest with it.
September 3, 2017
You told me how to spell ‘mum’… you raised me with a heartful heart, you’d sit and talk with me, celebrate me, not my vain achievements so much as those conversations you’d always be willing to have.
It’s easy to fall into that space where you shed all your faults in my mind’s eye as I remember only the good things and none of the bad, but even the bad things shaped who I am as God made good on it all in his grand recipe that makes up the me that I am.
So, you wanna go home. Your boat is getting closer to the shore, it’s full, it’s laden with the catch of 83 years of casting your net.
Oh, Mum, you’re not perfect vessel, but where’s the disgrace in that? You taught me to carry on despite my imperfections. My mind’s eye is upon that house on Vimy Road, the yellow patterned wall paper, the kitchen chairs. The image is disturbed suddenly by the hum of the vacuum Saturday mornings, and the smell of Windex and Lemon Pledge Furniture Polish as your husband, my Dad cleans house. Your meals prepared so simply, you were no chef Mum, but those meals are precious memories to me,
- boiled macaroni
- boiled wieners
- canned stewed whole tomato’s
- mustard on the side
There’s one of them, did you even put salt and pepper on the chicken before you put it in the oven? You baked us bread from scratch; water, oil, sugar, salt, yeast and flour, mix it up, let it rise in a warm place in that huge crockery bowl, punch it down, form it into loaves, put em in the pans to rise again. Bake them in the oven, pull them out when they’re done, bang em on their sides, popping them out onto the cooling rack to cool, flick your finger on their bottoms to hear the hollow sound, yes, they’re done.
The day I pruned your weeping heart shrub down to the nubs, and you burst into tears… it grew back though mummy.
And oh, when we messed up, we’d be lucky if we got the wooden spoon, the real trouble was if you waited ’til Dad got home, you knew how to stoke that fire, and then the memory would last…
I just saw a picture Diana sent me… of you laying there peacefully. Funny how I don’t need to be there, I don’t need to see… and it’s wonderful because you were a bit cold that way too, matter of fact and perfunctory.
Oh how I hated your big mouth, and oh how I’ve had to tame it, cuz I got it from you, I got that big mouth from your, this loving heart, this hard working soul of mine that cares for my family and see’s to their hearts and soul…
I got all the best things from you dear Mum… and if I kept you, if I could keep you, it’d be exactly as I already have you, rolled up here in my heart full of precious memories that none can see but me, nor none can take away.
I love you, Mum,