Memories of a Daughter
I remember I was wearing a pale-yellow snoopy sweatshirt the day that we got to visit Mom in the hospital. She asked me if I missed her.
I remember thinking that I did not want to upset her, so I replied, no. I don’t remember the look on her face, (I don’t remember what she looked like).
I remember feeling bad and knowing that that had not been the correct answer. I quickly changed my answer to yes. Of course, I missed her. I was only 8 or 9.
I remember being at my Grandparent’s (Dad's parents) in the "country" playing with cousins.
I remember Grandma coming downstairs and telling us “She's gone". I thought she meant my sister. She was having a nap and I thought she ran away. Grandma clarified.
I remember that my cousin tried to console me.
I don’t remember any of my siblings that day, but I remember my Dad.
I remember Dad coming from the hospital in his green (I think) station wagon.
I remember how empty he looked and how sad and lost he was.
That is all I remember of that day.
I remember the open casket.
I remember thinking that her cheek felt waxy and cold when I kissed it.
I remember that snow had not yet fallen but it was cold at the cemetery. I am and always have been cold when I go there.
I remember crying.
I remember, was it the priest, I’m not sure who but someone took the cross off the coffin and handed it to one of us. I don’t know how I ended up with it, but I have had it for the last 40 or so years.
I remember the coffin being lowered into the ground.
I remember (or is it a fake memory) picking up a handful of earth and dropping it on the coffin. I’m not sure if that had happened. It may have been something that I had seen on TV.
I remember everyone going to Grandma's after the burial.
I remember the "party" and the laughter.
I remember feeling angry at everyone there.
I remember crying.
I remember not wanting to be there. I left.
I remember my uncle finding me behind one of the buildings (I think it was an outhouse) and he tried to explain.
I remember him telling me that I had to stop crying because I had to help take care of my younger brothers and sister. (It was the time; he did not know any better).
I remember that over the next few years having Aunts and Uncles, along with both sets of Grandparents, help take care of us while Dad tried to sort and figure things out. He was not prepared to be the lone parent to 5 young kids. 11, 9, 7, 6, and 2 years old. Who would be? It would be difficult now but back in 1973....
I imagine a future where a child is sitting on his Grandmother’s lap listening to her talk about the past; remembering an awful illness that is no more. Her story will start with, I Remember….
October 13, 2023 will mark the 50th “Anniversary” of my Mom’s death.
I wanted to do something to honour her.
I chose to support The 2023 Breast Cancer Pledge Ride.
I know firsthand that all funds from this ride go to Cancer Care MB Foundation.
Please help me honour all that have been affected by Breast Cancer by donating to my page on the Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation website in support of Cancer Care MB Foundation.
Thank you for your support. It means more than you know
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