Thursday, February 17, 2011

RAJN(A): Mother, on what would have been her 100th

She would have been a century young today
but for a broken hip
suffered in a fall where she lay
for hours on a cold front porch
in March, at 0 degrees
until her cries brought
help and an
ambulance
surviving the surgery,
she proclaimed,
"I did it!" to her
waiting daughter
only to slip away in her
sleep
the next night
after 91 years of
struggle for a point of view
conditioned by a
birth in Sudbury, the
bush in Brent, the
nuns in St. Mike's, the
ravages of a tortured
torso that saw too many
scalpels
and an irritable
skin from exzema that
interrupted her nurse
training for one year
and then her mother's
untimely death at 51
from  dreaded cancer
and her father's demise
at 63 from cardiac arrest
after a second marriage she
never accepted...
she survived her spouse's
passing by four years
after a 63-year-long
tenure in marriage often
through long silences in deep
differences
mostly in degree, rather than
substance
her's was a restless spirit yearning for
perfection while his
a more placid and gentle
acceptance of things
as-they-are-were-wouldbe..
a soprano voice of power and
training echoed in make-up
choirs for The Messiah
and hands that moved
ceaselessly in knitting,
crewel, needlepoint, baking,
gardening, seamstressing and
nursing her hundreds of
private patients before
teaching the RNA students...
she swam, if there were no
ice in the bay,
she walked whenever she could
she entertained sumptuously and
travelled to her last day..
even in a Rotary film on
Ireland....
high standards, no apologies
relentlessly upheld, no apologies
with pulsing heart, mind and spirit
and thanks to her God
always!
17/02/11

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