Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

My mother having died twenty-one years ago means that Mother's Day has over the intervening years become more and more about honouring my wife, the mother of my children, than she who bore me six decades ago.  I feel extremely lucky on both counts, of course, but while it is easy to see every day how lucky my children and I are to love my wife, it gets a bit harder with time to remember all of my mother's graces, foibles, and idiosyncracies.  Of course there are "hard copy" memories; photo albums (lots of them), family recipes (some written in her hand) like her Christmas classic "hard sauce", portraits here and there - and her signature forever shows up unexpectedly inside book covers - but my memory of daily life with her fades a bit every year.  She died in mid-life of ovarian cancer, and thus really only knew our youngest child briefly, yet she was a wonderful grandmother just the same - the kind that insisted children run through the sprinkler in her backyard to escape the summer heat clad only in their birthday suits.  The kind that taught my very young son the basics of poker.  The kind you name your eldest daughter after.  Her disease robbed her of seeing her grandchildren blossom into adults she would have been exceedingly proud of (and of being a great-grandmother) but that's the way life is sometimes.  Enjoy your mother while you can.  I miss mine.