Through My Eyes



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

(Kathryn Andersen)

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