Remembering my mother after her death was painful, but heart-warming...
I awoke this morning in my mother’s bed,
memories and thoughts popped into my head.
I’ve come to mourn and celebrate her life
and find myself sensing what it must have been like
for our gentle mother as she faced the morn,
when she woke to the streaks and sounds of dawn:
the light through the window, the traffic outside,
her loving husband resting by her side,
his trousers on the door, her gown on the chair
books by the bedside and a net on her hair.
The plaster on the ceiling, a pattern makes,
a journey through the years, my memory takes:
the dressing table and the wardrobe standing tall
in their usual places against the wall,
never marked or scratched through all the years
of caring for each of us six little dears…
before Christmas they housed the hidden toys
waiting to delight four girls and two boys.
With my mother’s hands, those gifts were made,
or purchased with money she scraped and saved.
The serenity prayer painted with flair
catches early sun, where it was hung with care
and the pictures of deities above the bed
are symbols of the kind of life she led.
There is so much of her still in this place,
I close my eyes and imagine her face:
such a sweet tender lady now taken away
at a time in her life when long lazy days
could replace the hardship, struggle and fuss
and all of the sacrifices she made for us.
c. Kathryn Coughran
First published: 1994
In: Family Matters