Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letter to my mother 1 / If I could get a plane to heaven.

August is a funny month for me, quite like December 31st for other people.
I suppose it's because I teach, and the school year becomes your measurement of time.
Each August, I subconsciously look at how time is passing by, what I've done, what's left undone, and so on.
August also reminds me so much of time spent with my mother. In my 20's I usually went home for several weeks during the summer holidays. My mother would have lots of outings planned, we'd take off in my little Ford Fiesta and do some of these things she wanted - shopping, being tourists, visiting relatives, more shopping, having coffee. We'd also do lots of cooking, preserving, knitting, and house decorating. It was as though we were trying to pack a year's activities into a few short weeks, knowing that a long winter lay ahead, when there would be little time.

Sometimes I wish that I could get on a plane to heaven and visit her, even just for a weekend.
Looking at the sky this evening was one of those times, as I saw a plane go by- it's in this photo.

I've been thinking for some time of sharing some letters that I wrote to my mother after she died so suddenly, age 65, and the time seems right now. The reference to sad world is that for 2 years before she died, my mother was taking care of my brother who had become mentally ill..very difficult job for her..So here goes:

" 17/5/1990
Hello Ma,
Do you know how much I miss you? I'd love to have you back but this world we live in is a sad old place and you're better off where you are.
Ma, all we have is memories. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't write to you now and again. The pain is as bad today as it was the first day. I was just thinking "will I ever forget that it was on a Friday that you died?" I don't think so- I think there are still a lot of Thursday nights when I feel a sense of sadness (sometimes subconsciously) - like a retrospective foreboding.
I was thinking this evening about Christmas Day 1987- the first Christmas after you died, and Dad's last Christmas. I was thinking of how sister and myself cooked his last Christmas dinner-then it was also the last Christmas dinner in Rocklands. I know as we sat down to dinner everyone was thinking of you and I wanted so much to say "Here's to Ma and all the lovely Christmas dinners that she cooked for us", but I didn't think I'd be able to say it without crying so I stayed silent.
I'm sorry now that I didn't say it anyway, and to hell with crying or not.
I hope that you know anyway what was on our minds. One thing I am glad about is that we all went home that Christmas and had that first one without you and last one with Dad.

Bye for now, Ma, and thanks for the good times and the memories,
Mimi "


  1. Oh, Mimi, what a moving tribute to your Mom. How wise of you to actually write down those thoughts you had for her.
    August always makes me think of my mother, too. It was her birth month - she would have been 86 this year. No matter when we lose our parents, we are orphans. And it would be so very good to see them and share all the lost years happenings, wouldn't it?

  2. So sad, but so therapeutic to write it down. I still miss my Mum and she died 24 years ago, in August, bizarrely. I thought having a Mum die when i was very young was so much worse than if I had been older, but the more i read about people coping with their mother's death, the more i think it's just bloody hard whenever your Mum dies.

    sorry for no punctuation in that last sentence.

    It's so important to live each day, we don't know how many we have left.

    And on that happy note...


  3. A letter to heaven, what a brilliant idea and so therapeutic.

  4. Your letter to you Mom really moved me. I lost my mother in 1993, she was only 66, I never had a chance to say goodbye. Maybe I need to write her a letter.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Sunny :)

  5. Mimi,
    This is a healing blog. I know this is your personal experience. I find validation for feelings that I have experienced through the lost of my mother.

    Thanks again,
    pastor sharon

  6. Mimi this is a very moving post and I found it via the Sunday Roast interview with you - it moved me as I lost my ma almost 5 months ago - on a Friday too - and I found it very cathartic to write a farewell tribute to her the following week - my grief was still very raw and I wanted to capture it while I felt that way as it could be very different down the line - I also posted (with his agreement) hubby's lovely eulogy. You can read the two posts in my March 2010 list of posts.
    and here
    My heart goes out to you to lose your mother at such a young age, and so long ago - my youngest son was born in 1987 - he turned 23 today (Saturday).
    Thanks for sharing that with your readers. Your roast interview was lovely - had never heard of him before
    All the best, Catherine