Monday, 9 February 2009

Eulogy

I have been thinking about mum a lot so far this year.  It might be because I'm the same age mum was when she had me, or that in May this year it will be 10 years since she died, or that it would be her 65th birthday this friday, or maybe just time in the cycle of life for her to be more prominent in my thoughts.

Today for the first time in years I reread the eulogy that I gave at mums funeral, other than a few parts (which now feel young, but I guess I was) it still sums up how I feel about mum and who she was in my life.  So I am going to post it to the blog, I guess its a weird thing to post, but it feels like time to put out to the cosmos how loved she was.  

It is unedited, except for spelling;

Firstly I would like to thank everybody for coming, not just to pay there respects to mum, but also to show our family how much love there is out there for mum, I feel so much pride to see how many hearts mum must have touched.

I really felt I needed it get up here today, again not so much for mum but for me, so that I could stand up here in front of all the people that loved her, and tell them how grateful I am that I was blessed with such a special person for my mum.

When I was younger I used to keep a diary, mum would constantly joke that she was going to get me a stamp made saying “my mum is wonderful” and I was to stamp it at the top of each page, at the time I told her to get a life and stop being such a dork, like most rebellious 14 year olds, but when I was 16 mum had a close call in hospital and we didn’t think that she would be coming home to us, it was then that I realised that there are no second chances to tell people how you feel and I had a lot to tell mum including how wonderful I thought she was.  That, was until recently the worst time of my life, at the same time thought it made our relationship richer and closer, and I was able to say all the things that so many people often leave unsaid, I thanked her for being the best mum anyone could ever have.

A good friend of mine said recently that he never knew an adult to be so generous with three things first was her house, second her fridge, and third was her conversation.  I think that’s what a lot of the people that came to our house over the years thought, although the fridge might have been more relevant to all the males.

When I was growing up, mums place was always known as an open house, and to the select few people that knew about the secret entrance they know that’s literally what it was.  She always made everyone feel welcome and it was nothing for mum to get up at midnight and make the hoards of 6-foot males stomping through her house, a toasted sandwich.  She loved the fact that I always felt free to bring people home and that we would play music and laugh and make the house would come alive, even if it did interrupt her sleep quite frequently.

As an only child people ask me if I was spoilt and I used to say in only love, recently though I have realised that I was spoilt in much more than that, she spoilt me in respect, in laughter, in freedom and in letting me learn to be an individual, in loving my friends and making them feel welcome, in picking me up from the pub at 4.00am, in letting me make the house our home not her just hers, in just giving a sigh when I brought home yet another stray, in letting boys sleep over much to the horror of other parents, in sticking up for me even when I was wrong, in staying away from me when I had PMT, in making me breakfast before school even though I used to hide it under the bed, in almost believing the dog was the one who pulled the clothes line down, in laughing with me when I got drunk at that Christmas party at 16, in hugs, in conversation, in rubbing talcum powder on my back on hot nights, in letting me sleep in her bed after watching too much Dr Who, in teaching me to have my own opinions, in loving and respecting my dad and listing my stepmother as one of her dearest friends, in being open about her life,  and  treating me like an adult, all of those things helped make me into the person that I am today. 

In fact her liberal parenting made more than one of the parents surrounding her cringe but in the end no child has ever had more respect for a parent and no child has ever been able to share more with a parent than I have with mum.

Mum had a strong sense of family so much so that it extended out to the people closet to her she had so much love to give that her friends, my friends and her workmates were all part of her extended family and she loved us all.

She will always be with all of us in our hearts and in our memories standing beside us in the hard times and rejoicing with us in the good times I know this without a doubt, mostly because that was one of mums strongest beliefs but also because she could be a stubborn old cow when she wanted to be, and nothing not even death would get in the way of her watching out for all of us.

I will miss mum for the rest of my life, she was the best friend I could ever have but I will try to spend my time celebrating her life not mourning her death because I know that is exactly what she would have wanted.

4 comments:

Catriona said...

She never quite believed that Toto pulled the clothesline down, though, did she? What terrible liars we were. (I mean we lied badly.)

The last time I saw your mother before she died--it would have been about six months before, because I moved to Brisbane a month later--it was when I went around to see her after she came back from San Francisco.

She'd bought me a little parcel of things to thank me for house-sitting, and they were so typically the sort of things your mother would buy: earrings from a glass-blowers' commune with a population of sixteen, specially chosen in blues and greens to suit my complexion; a star made by monks from the remains of an old battleship. Things that had stories behind them, that had texture.

But what I remember most about that afternoon--and I remember every time I wear the earrings and see the star hanging on my wall--is that we talked for six hours, sitting in the lounge at the front of the house, drinking green tea. I should say no one was more generous than your mother with her conversation.

I loved your mother, too--not like you did, of course. Nothing like the way you did. But I loved her, too.

Wondering Willow said...

Good lord Treena, nice way to make me cry :) love you honey xx

Kim said...

That's beautiful, honey. I wish I'd known her better. I wish I'd known you better back then.

*hugs* At least we can make up some time now....

Wondering Willow said...

Thanks Kim, I think it will be good to catch up more often as well, we are family and i'd love to get to 'know you' better xx

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