Sunday, February 08, 2009

Letter from my mother

Well, not exactly. It's more like a fragment of something written by my mother, Carole -- a page I found after her death, when we were sorting things in boxes. Her words gave me a concrete tag to write a eulogy around. This is what she wrote:
“Today is February 8th and still another new snow has fallen – barely covering the icy packed-down dirty snows of several weeks. And this new snow, however thin, has worked its usual little miracle and sort of covered things over, wiping the slate clean – giving us once more a new beginning, a new day, still another new chance to make it all a little better. So that’s the kind of day it is today and I am hopeful. Not with that wild impossible kind of hope I used to have, but hopeful all the same. My mind goes back to a day in late March in 1933.”

It's too bad that the page ended there -- and that there wasn't another one to follow it. I wonder what that March day in 1933 might have been like. The Depression would have been in full swing, and my mother would have been six. For a day to lodge so long in her mind, it must have been a pretty special memory.

Especially when one considers what her life must have been like back then. It was a time of economic hardships most of us have probably only learned about from textbooks. But Carole and her brother and sisters lived those hardships day by day.

Yet those childhood hardships shaped her, contributing to the person she became. And I believe they taught her to always appreciate whatever blessings happened her way. And to treasure whatever wonderful memorable events might occur, including whatever it was that was so special about that day in March of 1933.

At the end of the eulogy, I challenged those present to honour my mother's memory by heeding the words she'd written. I asked them to go out each day, seeking little miracles, making fresh starts, pursuing new chances -- and most of all by doing their best, as she wrote, to ‘make it all a little better.’ And that remains my challenge to anyone who might read this. Because that's the kind of day today is -- one where I too feel a sense of hope -- just the way my mother did on that other 8th of February when she jotted down her impressions of the day.

The photo, probably from around the time of that special day in March, is of my mother visiting her dad at the hospital where he was destined to spend a number of years.


angelfruit said...

What a lovely post - thank you for sharing that. It has made me all the more determined to leave journals for my children and to encourage them to journal too.

hg said...

And thank you, AF, for your comment. That single sheet of journal means more to me than any of the other bits and pieces my mother left behind, as really, it is the closest thing to a piece of *her* that remains. What better gift to leave for those we love?

Kimmy said...

well said, my friend. well said.