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Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009 Edith Morris


Catchword Corner

August 2008

Mums - go round

Pennys Bookstore is one of my favourite places to push around when I go to the Mall. My wheelchair fits down the aisles and the staff are helpful. So on a cold, wet, boring day, I decided to look at the table overflowing with books from $8 up. I looked and looked and the time slipped by happily. I was drawn to a hard-covered book, pinky with goldy scrolling and little birds on the jacket. The book was entitled "Mums - a celebration of motherhood." Well, I'm already past motherhood, yet I turned the lovely feminine book over and over. "Yes, I'll buy it and can you cover it with protective jacket wrap?"

The book "Mums" is a collection of short stories about mothers obviously. It has prompted me to think of my own mother, something I don't like to do very often. I never felt close to my mother and I don't feel we ever bonded. It's only in the last few years I learned to appreciate her. She was only 18 years old when she married my father near the end of the war. Just before she was 19 she gave birth to me, her first child of five. Within 6 months I had contracted polio and was separated from her and put into isolation in the Camperdown Children's Hospital in Sydney. And so began a life time of not feeling connected my mother. I left home at 16 and at aged 28 we left New Zealand for 25 years of missionary life in Japan. I waved good-bye cheerfully to my mother, anxious to get on with my adventures. Our daughter, her grandchild was 7 year old at the time. I didn't think of the gap it would leave in my mother's life. She died while I was overseas.

I was a "good enough" mother to our lovely daughter, and fortunate to have my grandsons living nearby. Now I watch my daughter preparing herself to say good-bye to her nearly grown son as he is excited to go overseas, and I'm the grandmother waving good-bye, just as my mother did so many decades ago. Some things go around every generation and we release the ones we love, because we love them.

But some thing do change. I said "he'll need a travel clock."
"Oh I think he'll use his cell phone to wake him up" my daughter replied.
Of course, Granny!