Once when I was 2 or 3 years old, my mother pretended to be unconscious or dead. Of course I called out and fretted and shook her and just before I got too upset she of course ‘woke up’ and hugged me. She told me if it ever happens again I must go and get the neighbours. She would have been 23 or 24, a young mother playing games with her son.
My mother died last week, aged 73, far from me in England, surrounded by her other ‘children’ (all of them grandparents). I live in Montreal Canada and I saw her last in September. It was the first time we really spoke for several years following an estrangement. She had been ill for a long time, so we knew this was probably the last time we would see each other. There was no drama about it really. We spoke as if there would be more times, knowing there would not. We kissed goodbye like I was going to school, only further. Or perhaps like she was going to school, only further.
I know she loved me and was proud of me. She was always proud of me. I brought her a lot of joy I know. But whereby we get our joy we also get our pain and I fear I brought her much sadness too, in the later years. I feel that more than ever today. I wish I had not. I love you mam.
Top image: Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount-Royal