Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Mother's Voice


Today is a sad day for me. My niece would have turned 16 today... sweet 16... how can my poor brother and his wife bear not seeing her blow out those 16 candles... And 6 years ago today I heard my mum's voice for the very last time. We had come out to Vernon for my sil's wedding shower and I had called my mum in the morning, as I always did when I was away. She was my anchor, my grounding cable. I would call her to hear her comforting, loving voice and it would make me strong enough to be authentic for another day amongst my inlaws. She was telling me that the prairie chickens were dancing out at her aunt Katie's and how much she wanted to go watch them. My dad wasn't keen to go (preferring instead to work in their amazing garden) and so I told her Go Anyway! Go by yourself! If you really want to do this, GO! And so she went. And my dad got caught up in the enthusiasm (he captured the dancing on video), and went along... It was Silka's birthday and she wanted to go too, and her brother, Tyler (who would be 18 now) and my sweet Gran. All five, off they went, with so much joy, I'm sure. They took sleeping bags and slept on the floor at Katie's (Grannie was 86 so likely found a bed, but knowing her, maybe not?!) At dawn they awoke and crept out into the prairies to watch the wild chickens do their mating dance... We have my dad's voice on the video, commentating on how exciting it was. We can hear the other 4 voices hushed but sounding so happy and full of joy. And then they were on their way home and that's when the world stopped and they all got off... Leaving us forever wishing for things that cannot be...
Like the 16 candles that should be lit today...
And the voice on the other end of the phone that should be calling me still...

Yes, it was 6 years ago this morning that I said "I LOVE YOU" for the very last time. People tell me I shouldn't commemorate this day, that it should be just like any other day. And perhaps it would be if my mum had been sick and had the time to tell me all the things she wanted to... to hear all the things I had left to say... But it was such a massive event. It took our breath away, and we've never breathed quite the same since. How can we forget?
My sil told me this week how annoyed she is that her parents (my children's grandparents) seem to be trying to pick up some of the slack that would've been filled by my own parents... how peeved she gets that it affects her. Her words were "It shouldn't matter if your children have one set of grandparents or ten, it shouldn't affect my children..." And so it is. Maya Angelou said "When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!" And so I am.

And I wish I could end it with that. I wish I could breathe in and out and let it go. But it pains me that she doesn't get that we are ALL connected. Not just that she is my children's aunty, and so their pain is in some small part going to affect her, but that we are ALL connected, like the mouse dealing with the mousetrap. And so the lesson I take is that any pain, any tear, any loss, any sorrow, anywhere in this world, affects me. The sadness I feel, the tears that are unexpected and unexplainable, the sorrow I feel deeply within me is not just from my own losses, but from all the sorrow that continues to happen every second of every day...
I miss you Silka. Happy birthday, sweet girl.
And mum? Call me!

2 comments:

Chick said...

Ah, m-s! How can you NOT commemorate such a day? Such a HUGE impact on your life! To not commemorate it would to be in denial. How beautiful your writing. Thank you for sharing. And so sorry about your sil.

cherry said...

ooh your remembering and writing gives me goosebumps. why would you NOT remember this day, it was so huge for you. i hear older folk say they are still sad about a parent dying when they were young, no matter how long ago. it still affects you. and if you have a heart it will affect you for ever, in changing ways, in growing ways and with love. us humans are all from the same matter and those that don't stop to remember that, don't feel the empathy, the rest of us do. my love to you. xx