Showing posts from May, 2016

The Night Before Last

The night before last I had a scary dream. It had the feel of a  Ray Bradbury  story, the ones I loved and devoured as quickly as I could, as a teenager.  The dream had the same creepy menace and foreboding that I found so deliciously scary then, but it didn't feel so delicious showing up in my dream now. In the dream I was in bed, in a room whose walls held windows that were open to the dark outside, like a sun porch, only the windows were all around and a breeze rustled through them, an invader from outside. I wasn't alone in the room. To my right there was another bed, a little further forward than mine. A young girl, with dark, bobbed hair, sat up in it, with her back to me. Because it was further ahead than mine I couldn't see her face. I did what anyone would do--I called out, "Mum!" And I heard her sweet, unmistakable voice say, "I'm here darling," and she put up her hand from the mattress on the floor where she was sleeping be

We Need More of That

 The sun shone bright and the day was full of the promise of spring as our c ars converged on the small church standing at the side of a quiet country road . It was a glorious day for our purpose: remembering someone who would have loved to be there but who had more pressing business in heaven. The gathering was informal and simple, just  staff  of the agency that had supported the person as well as his friends and family. We simply sang songs that were his favourites and shared our memories.We laughed, and wiped away some tears and we all left with more than we came with. I loved all of the stories, but two shared by one of his support staff stuck with me. To understand them you need to know two things: he loved to sing and was irrepressible if the moment called for song, and he had an intellectual disability.  At one event they were at, he left his seat, mounted the podium and took the microphone. Then he sang the song, "Jesus Loves Me," and his staff said there was not

2016 Mother's Day Memories

As small children we adore our mothers, think them the fairest in the land, and when we are old enough, present them with gifts bought lovingly with hoarded coins passed over shop counters by chubby hands. Among my childhood gifts to Mum were  Soir de Paris  perfume in its  bottle of blue glass topped with a domed silver cap--and   Californian Poppy   with its jaunty red lid and cheery poppies on its label. Inside they had little white rubber stoppers, and Mum would tip the bottled and then touch the tiny stopper behind each ear, to each wrist and to her throat, a ritual I studied, and later imitated. Both perfume bottles had in common their miniscule size, but somehow that just made them seem more extremely precious. They were the only perfumes I remember her using. The rest of her life was far from glamourous. Recently I thought about the hard physical work she did every week just to get the laundry done. The sturdy white cotton twill bed sheets would be stripped each week,