This photograph along with some of the others reminded me of summers spent as a young child with Nenen in Montserrat. She worked the land which was backbreaking but she was cheerful through it all. She loved the outdoors and really relished the opportunity to make her living that way. However, she wanted us to better ourselves and so drilled in us the importance of getting a good education so that we could be successful and always have soft hand. For her that meant finishing university and getting a good corporate job.
And having achieved what she wanted, I long for the simplicity of her life. Sure it was difficult, but it was an honest living; free of the complications that come from working in a large organisation or even owning a business in the US or UK. So I think about this and wonder what it would be like to take a sabbatical from the rat race. You know, spent a year with Nenen in her old age helping her out and just generally soaking up her wisdom. No, she’s not working the land anymore but at her house perched on a hill with a magnificent view of the ocean, she’s surrounded by about twenty cats all of whom she lavishes a great deal of attention on. I smile just thinking about her and them. So beautiful, just like this Japanese grandmother and her adorable two colour eyed kitty.
My great aunt Dorothy aka Miss Emmie aka Nenen turns 94 years old today! So I called to wish her birthday greetings and she was as perky as ever so thanking God for her continued health and blessings. Long may her good fortune continue as she warms my heart like no one else can. We may be thousands of miles apart, but she is my rock, my source of strength. The person who continually reminds me that despite the challenges, I am blessed and I have much to be thankful for. I am eternally grateful.
Pictured above is Nenen about 30/40 years ago visiting Uncle James in New York! Below is a picture of me and Nenen taken 2011 while in Montserrat. As you can see, she still has her rosy cheeks and looks as lovely as ever!
Today would have been my Mom’s sixtieth birthday. I’m trying to keep my emotions in check as it’s been 18 years since she passed but it’s still rather difficult. I can’t help but daydream about what could have been. She died so young. Heck, she was the age I am now. So even though I’m sad, I’m giving thanks. I have lots of wonderful memories of her and my own journey has really just begun. Plus as Basherter likes to remind me, she is off in another dimension and is most likely upset that I’m still mourning her. It doesn’t mean that I forget about her; just celebrate all that she accomplished while she was here and live life to the fullest. He has a point. Anyway, below is a picture of her taken in 1993 around her 42nd birthday. The fruit punch and cake were so delicious!
One of the biggest regrets surrounding my mother’s death, is that I didn’t take part in her funeral service. Truth be told by the time she died, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I just let others take over. All my effort the proceeding months had been consumed with trying to keep her alive, to get her on a path to remission, that when the end came, I had nothing left.
But I really do wish I had said something during the service. Even if it was just to read a poem. The one that comes to mind time and time again, when I think about my mother is Phenomenal Woman by Dr. Maya Angelou. Now I’m sure some will say it’s not appropriate for a funeral — but I suppose I want to remember my mother in better days. She was a great source of strength. Anyway, below is audio of me reading this poem last year.
It’s been eighteen years today since I held my mother’s hands as she took her last breath. Eighteen years since I heard her say her final words: “God is good.” Eighteen years since I picked up the bible as I heard the death rattle and read to her the Book of Psalms.
And after all these years, it’s suppose to be easier. I’m not suppose to cry or even be angry because there has been enough time to bring about acceptance of it all. But I don’t know — it just all still seems so unfair that she was taken from me, my sister, the rest of the family and really the world all too soon.
So I trust that God will soon enough reveal to me his master plan because if I’m honest, after all these years, I don’t know and I’m tired – really bushed. I’m tired that I’ve had to be so brave. I’m tired that I walk this earth alone. Sure there are people around me who love me, but without my mother’s love and guidance, life just seems empty.
Christ! Is this too much truth? Maybe! But it’s still what I’m feeling. It’s all real and whereas I may have forgotten what happened to me last year, I remember every little detail surrounding my mother’s death. I can’t shake it. Maybe I’m not supposed to be able to.
Interestingly, when I saw the psychic last fall, my mother came through in the reading. This stranger, who didn’t know me, was able to reveal to me in great detail the circumstances surrounding my mother’s death — all in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, she went on to tell me that Mom was looking down on me being my guardian angel guiding me in the right direction and so I’m grateful for that. Also, that she is surrounded by family and friends who are all supportive and loving to her.
So yeah, while I hope to walk this earth for another fifty years at least, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to the day when I would see her in the afterlife. I have to believe that this is possible as there is still so much to say and share. I have to believe as I know this pain inside me won’t go away until I hold her hands again.