Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My farewell

Early yesterday morning, as I looked out the window at the fog shrouded landscape, which matched my mood at the time, my thoughts were of my family and friends in New Zealand who were still snug in their beds. I was thinking about my two brothers and what they were going to be doing at 10:30am NZ time and wishing I could be there to share the sad but special time.

3:30pm USA time, 10:30 NZ time, found me sitting in the sun, the quiet and solitude of the shore except for the sound of the sparkling green water as it lapped the shore, gazing at the floating seaweed, and bird feather sprinkled waters of Saratoga Passage as the tide was turning.

This was the time of day in New Zealand my family and friends were gathered at the Rose City funeral home celebrating my Mother's life and bidding her farewell.

In my own way, as I rested there, I felt connected to them across the miles. The quiet and beauty of my surroundings enveloped me like a warm blanket and my mother's arms I too bid her goodbye.

I wrote and emailed this Eulogy to be read at the service

I wish I could be there in person, but please be assured I am there in spirit.

Mum was one very special woman. She was kind and gentle, but strong at the same time, had a wonderful sense of humour and was always fun to be around, as her friends and family will tell you.

One of my earliest fond memories is when I was very young. It must have been before I started school at five years of age.
I remember Mum and I enjoying morning tea together. We sat in the living room of our little house in Haydon Street, drinking tea and dunking our wine biscuits while listening to Mum's favourite serial , Dr Paul on the radio. I still enjoy dunking biscuits in tea to this day.

When I was thirteen years old, my younger brother John was born, so I got to help Mum take care of him. I learned so much about taking care of a baby, so that when my first child Antony was born eight years later, I was well versed in how to take care of a newborn.
Thank you Mum for the lessons in motherhood.

She was a super housekeeper and cook, for which I have to say “thank you Mum for teaching me in deed and by example. Your lessons helped to make the transition from girl, to wife and mother that much easier.”

Mum and I had relationship, which was both mother and daughter, and best friends.

Throughout the years I brought my happiness, sadness and problems to her through letters, telephone calls, and the best times of all were when I returned to New Zealand for a visit, then we could really sit down for a chat.

I especially loved the times, when I was home on a visit, Mum would announce, usually sometime very early afternoon, “Jennifer, It is past lunchtime, time to open the bar” and we would pour ourselves a drink and sit down to chat.
As the afternoon wore on and subject after subject were discussed we would sometime get to be quite giggly, just like two girls who had one drink too many. Oh! That’s right, we did have more than one drink.

Every time I came back to New Zealand on a visit Mum and I always had such a good time together. She loved to cook for me as she used to tell me “it’s not much fun cooking for one.” Of course I always appreciated her home cooking while I was there, as much as my waistline did, I swear I was going to be charged excess baggage on my return trip to the States.

Mum never showed her disapproval for any mistakes I made in my life, ( and I sure made some doozeys) she just accepted what had happened and gave me her support whether she thought I had done the right thing or not.
Thanks Mum for not being critical, and for being so supportive and letting me make my mistakes and learning from them.

I have a memory of one episode Mum and I shared many, many years ago.
Mum had been divorced from dad for quite a few years, and was thinking perhaps, she would like to meet someone to go out with.

Being the helpful daughter I was, I suggested we visit one of the singles clubs together, and much to my surprise she agreed.
On the singles meeting night, we entered the place where the singles were gathering, signed in, and as I remember, we sat down at a table waiting for the evening events to begin.
Very soon a gentleman who looked about my mother’s age, came over and asked if he could join us.
The three of us sat there for a while talking, when all of a sudden Mum grabbed my arm and said, in what I thought was frantic tone of voice, “Jennifer, I forgot, we have John coming over to the house, we have to leave now!”

We quickly made our apologies to the gentleman, and I was almost dragged out the door. Of course by this time I had figured out what Mum was up to, she did not like the gentleman and did not want to stay there a moment more than was necessary.
We had hardly cleared the door frame before both of us exploded in laughter.
I will always remember this evening with much laughter.

That was the first and last time I ever tried to help find a man friend for Mum.

Mum has always been there for Graeme, John and I, lending her support in any way she could.

She truly was the best mother anyone could wish for.

Dearest Mum, I am going to miss you, and your love and friendship.


Kia hora te manno

Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana

Kia tere te karohirohi

May the calm be widespread

May the sea glisten like the greenstone

And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways.


Anonymous said...

I am sat here crying after reading this. You have such a way with words. I lost my mom 7 years ago, we were not close but your blog brought back some nice mmemories for me.

Thanks for that.


Jennifer AKA keewee said...

Helen I am glad I could bring you some nice memories.

Ginco said...

Oh Keewee, what a sad but sooo beautiful entry, thank you so much for sharing some of your wonderful memories with all of us.
Love and hugs, C.

Anonymous said...

This a very beautiful farewell to your Mother.

Mary Lou said...

(Snorf!) That was so pretty.

I love to sit and reflect while sitting on the beach and watching the water.

mistaya's M.O.M. said...

keewee girl, that was beautiful and straight from your heart. Your mother would be proud.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

And sad.

You have my prayers. :)

Phyllis said...

Beautiful. She sounnded like a lovely lady! She was lucky to have you as a daughter.

Anonymous said...

I understand how difficult it must have been to be so far from those you love on such a day. The Eulogy is beautuful and a lovely tribute to your mom and the love you shared.

Barb said...

Keewee - I'm sorry for your loss, but your eulogy makes it plain that your Mum passed on her love of life to you, and that's a blessing. What a wonderful tribute to her! It's been 8 years since my Mom passed away, and I miss her still. Especially when watching old John Wayne movies, she was a great movie buff :-)