Tag Archives: Mother

Remembering Mother

Today I discovered Five Sentence Fiction when reading this blog and decided to try my hand at writing only five sentences.

A moment of clarity in the land of the confused brought on a rush of memories both to her and to those of us visiting her.  This once vibrant, strong woman had been reduced to a pale shadow of herself under the strong grip of Alzheimer’s. Disease.  Suddenly she was once again our mother, even if only for a very short time, when she knew our names and recognised each of us. The joy and happiness was unbounded and in that short time many happy moments and happenings were remembered.  But all too soon, the veil of the Disease dropped down and once again she retreated to the confused old lady she had recently become.

Lillie McFerrin Writes
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The Visitor


We all grow up with the weight of history on us.
Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains
as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden
in every cell of our bodies.
Shirley Abbott, magazine editor and writer
1934 –

I have written before about this old lady who seems to inhabit my house alongside Lotte and me.  I haven’t invited her in, but wherever I go she is there before me.  When I go into the bathroom she is looking at me where the mirror is supposed to be.  I pass along the hall and there she is again.  She’s in the bedroom, the living room and at the front door.  I don’t know who she is or why she is living in my house.

Cross Old Woman

She doesn’t even appear to be happy that she is getting free board and lodging without having been invited.  And she has never heard the expression that guests are like fish – great on the first day, getting a little stale on the second and definitely off by the third.

So why is she here?  And today I even saw her at a friend’s house.  Is she stalking me? She was in the car on the way home getting a free ride.  But the most worrying thing is that I am the only one who ever sees her.  When I ask a family member they tell me that they can only see me.  So what’s going on here?

Seriously though, I remember somebody saying to my late husband when we decided to get married “Look at her mother.  That’s how she will look when she is older.”  And goodness me, that is coming true.  I always thought that I looked like my father but not any more.

And I hear myself saying some of the things she used to say and even doing things her way.  So is it genetics or learned behaviour?  I haven’t lived in the same house as Mother for 55 years and  she has been dead for 16 of those years.  Added to that I haven’t even lived in the same country for most of my adult life, so where does this come from? (Yes I know, grammatically incorrect but it reads better this way).

And then looking at the next generation.  I see my own daughter saying and doing things in the same way that my Mother used to and that I now do.  So like the family face some other things are passed down through the generations.

And the family face – here’s the first verse of the poem by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928):

I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
Over oblivion.

So where is this rambling post taking me?  I don’t know but know it must end here.

“And now
as the water cascades and tumbles
over the rocks in its rush
down to join the river
so my thoughts tumble around my brain
looking for an outlet
or a safe place to stop.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger, Mother, Grandmother and Friend 1938 –

Mother’s Day 2012

Today is Mother’s Day here in New Zealand and this has long been my favourite quote:

A baby said to god “I hear you are sending me to earth tomorrow.  How am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”
God said “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you”
The child then said “But here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing, smile and be happy”.
God said “Your angel will sing and smile for you and you will feel your angel’s love for you and you will be happy.”
And the child said “But who will protect me?”
And god said “Your angel will protect you even if it means risking its own life”
Then the child said “If I am to leave heaven please tell me my angel’s name”
And god said “You will simply call her Mum.”

I wish you all a happy Mothers’ Day wherever you are, and really hope that the above resonates with you as it does with me.

I have said before that I had a very happy childhood, and while I know that many of you didn’t I know that you will be the best mothers you can be.

Tulips

Motherlove, Monsters, Mayhem and Maybe Murder

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”
— Agatha Christie, DBE, 1890 – 1976), British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. 

I discovered Martie Hevia and her blog a couple of weeks and I look forward to reading it each day.  It is a gentle blog filled with fun, memories and of course,  Martie’s voice singing her songs.

A couple of days ago the tone of her blog changed and she wrote about Caylee Marie Anthony, the toddler who disappeared and whose Mother didn’t report her missing for thirty-one days.  What kind of Mother-love is demonstrated here?

The Mother has apparently made all kinds of claims to the Police, all of which appear to be lies and now she is claiming that the child drowned in the grandparents’ swimming pool.

Whether this Mother murdered her child will come out in the days ahead.  But her callousness towards that lovely little girl cannot be ignored.

Maslow's Hierarchy

We know that Mazlow determined that the basic needs of any human being included physiological, safety, belonging and love,  and esteem.  Which of these were given to this little child?  A child needs to be loved and cared for.  To know that she is important to her parents and family, to be warm and safe.  Apparently none of these things applied to this little girl.

We can’t get the live CNN feed here but Martie gives it on her blog.

We know that one is innocent until proven guilty but all the signs are there that this Mother is implicated in some way with her baby’s disappearance and death.

I shall leave it there for the jury to decide after they sit through what will  obviously, be a harrowing experience.

And for Caylee –

Teddy bear

RIP Littlre One


What’s in a name?

cool-names-4

Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him. Mel Brooks, 1926 –  American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer.

I spend more time that I have available in reading other people’s blogs.  The title for today’s blog jumped into my mind after reading Wendy at http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/.  In her post, she talks about nearing 50 and the various names she has and does answer to.

Well, I have more than 20 years on her so I thought I would do the same.  Thanks Wendy for the idea.  I have been:

  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Girlfriend
  • Wife
  • Soulmate
  • Mother
  • Grandmother
  • and more

and for each of these stages, I have had a different name.

Daughter – For 19 years I was Judith Rita.  My surname was always met with surprise and comments such as “But what is your last name dear?”

Sister – still Judith Rita but the questions posed were “So are you Christine’s younger sister?” or “Are you Marianne’s big sister?”

Friend – I have answered on occasions to Jude. Judy, Diff (an early boyfriend thought this was funny) but mostly I am Judith.

Girlfriend – Often I was called love, darling, dear, honey and even lovey by one erstwhile boyfriend.  And one asked me if I call everybody Darling because I can’t remember their names.

Wife and Soulmate – I was always darling to my soulmate as he was to me.  His special name for me was Angel and when our daughter was born she was Angel II.

Mother – When the children were small I was Mummy, moving onto Mum as they grew older and from my daughter during her learning German phase I was Mutti.  When my daughter and I worked together for some years she called me Judith and still does quite often.

And now instead of Cate being asked if she is my daughter, I am regularly asked if I am her mother.  How things change.

Grandmother – When James was small (he is now 16) he used to call me Nampa and his grandfather was the other Nampa.  This soon changed to Granma or sometimes just G.

Grandsons several years ago

And what do I call other people?  Always Darling for the family – the boys are called Darling No1, No2, No3 and No4.  Jae the youngest responded to my calling him Darling One with “No Granma – I’m Darling number 4”.  He was about 4 years old at the time.

“At my age the only problem is with remembering names. When I call everyone darling, it has damn all to do with passionately adoring them, but I know I’m safe calling them that. Although, of course, I adore them too.”  Richard Attenborough , CBE  1923 –   British actor, director, producer and entrepreneur.


The Day After Mother’s Day

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”  ~Washington Irving,  American author, essayist, biographer and historian  1783– 1859

Mother and me 1995

With Mother shortly before she died

I have read lots of lovely tributes to mothers from other bloggers.  And they were certainly worth reading.

Unfortunately, my Mother and I didn’t have the greatest relationship once I grew up.  I guess because I was the middle daughter and my elder sister was sick (first polio and then rheumatic fever) and my younger sister was ‘the baby’ I quickly grew to rely on myself.  Not that my Mother wasn’t a loving and caring person, we just never developed the close relationship that each of my sisters had with her and from reading yesterday’s posts, many of you obviously have or had with your mother.

Because of my independence I didn’t involve her in my life as much as she would have liked.  I was the first to marry and move away from home.  Having said that,  as my husband was away quite a lot at the time, I stayed with my parents in the weeks leading up to my daughter’s birth and Mother was there for me.

And even though I moved away from London, she was there when I had a couple of miscarriages, coming up to Scotland to look after me and her granddaughter.  She also came to stay when I had my son.  This was her way of showing how much she loved me.

We kept in touch over the years of my travels around the world, by letter and the occasional (very expensive) telephone call.  Wednesday was my day for writing letters home – both to my parents and my husband’s father.  I have carbon copies (are you old enough to remember carbon paper) of many of those letters.

Thank you

And once I thought it was time to say thank you to both of my parents for the love and support they had given me.  So I wrote them a letter telling them how much their love meant to me, and hoping that my children would be able to say how great their childhood had been because of their parents.  Mother never commented on the letter but after she died Father told me how pleased she had been to receive it.

And as I have grown older and look back on my life, I know there are ways in which I could have shown her how much I loved her.  But I didn’t and while she looks happy to be with me in the photo she was suffering Alzheimer’s and didn’t know who I was.

So to all you people out there who still have your Mothers and Fathers, take the time to tell them how much they mean to you.  It’s too late when you are attending their funeral – Let them know when they are alive that you appreciate all the care and love they bestowed upon you.

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead my midnight.  Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster.  Your life will never be the same again.”  Og Mandino, American Author, 1923 – 1996

Butterfly

Photo - Ed Dear