Feeling blessed …

Listening to all the speeches at both the Republican and Democratic conventions and then watching asfreedom Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, it suddenly hit me: How, when it comes to family, I won the lottery.

My maternal grandmother was one of nine children, four boys and five girls. They were all open-minded, tolerant accepting and opinionated at a time when that was not so common. They came by it honestly enough, my great Continue reading

Waiting

It was Christmas time. My mother was in Toronto, visiting me. She was onlytime here a day or two when the call came. My grandmother had pneumonia, bacterial, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

My mother and I left for Montreal immediately, going directly to the nursing home when we arrived.

And there we stayed, all of us, me, my mother and both my aunts sitting there, in her room. Listening. A ragged breath, a beep from the monitor, a ragged breath, a beep Continue reading

What really matters …

Sometimes it feels like we spend so much time on the things that don’t birthdaymatter we lose sight of the things that do. I was reminded of what really counts last Sunday.

It was my birthday. I don’t make a big deal of it. I never did. My mother used to tell me that even as a child I Continue reading

Thanks for the memories …

This is a photo of my mother and her identical twin sister.  My mother’s the one on the left.  There’s no date on the back so I MomAnnettehave no idea how old they were.  I’m going to say 20 or 21.  They’d be 93 if they were still alive.

Ironically they both died in the month of February, although my aunt preceded my mother by several years. She died February 3, 2000.  And this coming Thursday, February 26, my mother will have been gone eight years.

Can’t believe how quickly the time’s passed.

But this isn’t a post about sadness and loss.  That’s not the right way to remember my mother; or my aunt, for that matter.  They were way too full of life to dwell on anything but what characters they were.  And what joy they brought.

They were so much alike — and not just in looks — it was freaky.  Especially for me, an only Continue reading

The end of an era …

About three weeks ago, I wrote about my aunt, Leatrice, the last of my mother’s sisters. In my heart I knew, that day, she was not doing very well. I spoke with her every week and when I got off the phone after we talked for what turned out to be the last time, I was really concerned about her. What I didn’t know, BloomSisterswas just how rapidly she would decline. Unfortunately she passed away eight days ago.

She’s the one in the middle in the photograph. My mother is on the left and her twin sister, on the right. The twins were seven years older than my aunt. She looks about six or seven, I’m guessing — the smocked dress is a give-away, don’t you think? So they would have been thirteen or fourteen. Teenagers, although to me, they look older — more sophisticated. It’s probably the lipstick that was added to the photograph later. And the rouge, as it was called in those days.

I love this photo. The first time I saw it was at my cousin’s house, after my aunt’s funeral. Obviously in those days there were no colour photographs, so this was tinted. The three of them look like they’re in a

Continue reading

Moments in time …

It’s interesting, the things we remember from long ago. Really long, like our childhood. And what triggers those memories. Last week I called my aunt. The flashbackslast of my mother’s sisters who’s still alive. She’s far from young now and not so well and I guess, when I got off the phone, I was a bit melancholy. Ours had been such a large, and close knit family and there’s not many left.

I didn’t think much about it right after the call, but I guess it must have been weighing on my mind. Because days later, while reading, I suddenly had a flashback. I was really young, maybe three or four, five at the most. I was in a car. My grandfather was driving. My father was in the passenger seat. My aunt, this same aunt, her fiancé (very recent) and I were all sharing the back seat.

Like most little kids I was jabbering away. It was clear this was not my aunt’s idea of heaven. I could tell because she sighed a lot,

Continue reading

Day 339. Me, Myself …

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

Is that what pops into your head whenever you’re in front of a mirror?  If, for no other reason, than you’re reminded of the children’s fairy tale, Snow White.  It’s anpointillism interesting question.  “What do you think when staring at a reflection of yourself”.

Don’t know why I didn’t write about it, last week, when I first saw this WordPress Daily Prompt question.  “Finish this sentence:  When I look in the mirror, I …”  I guess it just didn’t capture my imagination back then, like it is now.

So what do you see?  I’m curious.

I see a woman who resembles several different people.  I see my mother in me.  The colour of her eyes.  Her colouring, in general.  The shape of her face.  Some of her expressions.  I see my father in me.  The size and shape of his eyes.  His mouth.  His smile.  His nose.   And then I also see my maternal grandmother in me.  There are photographs of her, when she was young, where I look exactly like her.  Or so I’ve been told.

Does that make me a composite?  Where does ‘me, myself’ come in?  How much of ‘me’ is just me?  Which part of ‘me’ Continue reading

Day 36. Alone Time

Before you read this story, I just want to let you know that the WordPress blog, Magnificent Nose, is featuring Flash Fiction this week.  I have a guest post today, “Poetic Justice?”  Hope you’ll check it out, and keep going back.  It’s a great blog.

Yesterday I wrote about twins.  In that story, I made a very brief reference to my being an only child.  Today, I’m thinking about what that means.  Can’t speak for everyone else out there without brothers and sisters, but I love my own company.  I never feel lonely.  I do like being alone.  Not all the time.  But probably more than many.

And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if my being an only child has a lot to do with it.  It would make sense.

Because I have no siblings I spent a fair bit of time alone, growing up.  Yes, my parents were there.  Yes, I always had lots of friends, lots of friends coming over to my house to play, to study, for meals.  I always had lots of parties, lots of sleepovers.  But eventually they went home, to their own houses; and then it was back to just me and my parents.  We had a large, extended family.  Lots and lots of cousins (many of whom are very close to my age) and aunts and uncles and grandparents.  We were together very, very often.  Most weekends, in fact; and often, during the week as well. But eventually we all went home, to our respective houses; and again it was back to me and just my parents.

I spent a lot of time with my parents’ friends, especially the women.  I often said I had my own relationships with them.  I loved my conversations with them.  They never treated me like a child; and I guess because of all the time I spent with adults, I was more sophisticated Continue reading