11.12.12

Woman to woman......































I lost my mother to cancer at the young age of 33. In 2013 it will be 50 years ago. The memories I have of her are scarce. I just know that she gave us her best years, a parting gift of unshakable love and a caring respect for those who struggle through life with a broken wing.

One of my earliest memories is of my mother bringing women into our kitchen to feed them and make hot milk for their babies.  Craggy faced women in big shawls, wet from walking the roads. Children wrapped close to their bodies. My mother, only a fresh faced girl, was confident and at ease with them. I remember being in awe of their tales. Where they had been, who they had seen. When myself and my sisters outgrew clothes my mother made little parcels and gave them away. I was shocked one day when I saw "our pram" down the town with a scruffy little boy sitting up in it.

I like to think that even though she couldn't be present, she influenced the rest of my life, my work and my creativity. Fully absorbed in her love of music she had access to a precious inner world. I used to think she was feeling sad, now I understand that she was moved and connected to the beauty of it.

As I blaze a trail through life as an older woman, something she would never do, she is becoming more of a presence in my life again. Or maybe we are crossing paths as I make my way back towards my own childhood roots to meet her again, woman to woman.......




This post was written for Vision and Verb a global gathering of creative women, why not pay a visit, make a comment on any post this week and be in with a chance to win a set of 10 beautiful cards.



32 comments:

  1. My Irish mother died at the age of 31. Like you I have lived with the feeling of my mother's presence, close to me.
    So woman to woman this post was perfect.
    ()() xx

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    1. So young, that's a part of why it can be hard to bear.....thank you Cait. x

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  2. Ah, this brought tears to my eyes.
    ~ Lovely ~

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    1. I have spent most of the day weeping myself!! Lovely responses from kind souls like yourself. But my next post is going to be a very happy one!!!

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  3. Your mom would be proud to know you have taken so much from her life and honoured her in this way. My sister died a year ago leaving behind 3 young girls and I hope and pray that they are able to go through life honouring their mother in some of the peaceful ways you have. Your mom gave you a most precious gift indeed!

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  4. Due to a number of other factors it has probably taken 50 years to feel like I can begin to honour her in the way she deserves......I hope you and the girls can find your way through it......takes time and she will always be there as a big impact in your live no matter what...thanks X

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  5. How sad your mother died so young and although your memories are scarce she has still influenced you so much throughout your life.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah, yes the memories are scarce alright but the presence is felt.....

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  6. my wife christina kavanagh was brought up in morrisons rd waterford and lost her mum in 1962 and found herself on her own and at a low ebb,so she visited her sister in huddersfield where i met her at a dance.for the last 30 years we have visited tramore and always visit her mums grave in ballyanasia graveyard where she spends a good half hour at her graveside,in prayer and thought.

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    1. I know you have such a warm connection with Waterford Ian and now I know why, send her my regards, we share something else now too, thank you for sharing that:~))

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  7. Well THAT was and is a powerful paragraph. Mothering NEVER ends, it stays with us and goes on thru generations. This a a good thing in most cases. Thank you for this reminder about life. Bless YOU

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    1. Thank you yes I suppose mothering never ends and now that I am a mother myself I know that! Thank you.

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  8. Such a beautiful portrait of your mother. Oddly, I was just reading about the late Mary Lavin and her daughter in the National Library of Ireland ~ with Mary writing her short stories and her daughter doing her homework. The mother daughter bond is one that is very close to my heart but I am one of the lucky ones as I had my mother up to when she was 89 and a wonderful inspiration right to the end. I love the notion of presence that you mention. I think it is the absolute essence of creative grieving. Your creativity is so amazing. Your mother would be so, so proud!

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    1. Jean thank you so much for you kind words. I love that you had your mother for so much of your life, what a gift! Creative grieving.....so that's what's going on? I think you are so right there. So well said.....

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  9. The empty chair and the bird - a very appropriate subject to your commemorative text.

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    1. Martin, I really struggled with which image to use......so thank you for saying that......

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  10. What a beautiful post. You are blessed to have had such a generous, kind-hearted mother. Her spirit lives on in your art.

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  11. The loss of my parents in the last 5 years has left a gap in my life that will never be filled, and I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose your Mum when you're still a child ((hugs))

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    1. It can never be filled really can it? Thanks Candi. x

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  12. So moving and graceful, as always, Catherine. I was just thinking today how in some ways I feel closer to my mother than ever before, possibly because of my age and possibly because her spirit has moved beyond the frailties she suffered in life. Your elegant posts always fill my heart.

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  13. Your Mum gave you a wonderful gift of life, and lessons on how to live it.

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  14. The simplicity of this post speaks volumes.

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  15. Mothers continue to give us their gift of love long after they have gone. My mother died when I was quite young so I regret never knowing her
    as adult but she continues to be an inspiration.

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  16. Oh I do loath spammers (which comment will make no sense at all once you've removed the comment above). But on such a heartfelt post, written so evocatively and with such skill, and clearly about an incredible woman, those words are particularly jarring.

    (I am just a little too young for Vision and Verb, much of what I find there speaks of times I have no memory of, which rather makes me feel like the younger sister denied the party!)

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  17. Your mother seems to have been a blessing to anyone who happened to cross her path. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us - now we feel blessed by her presence too.

    Warm hugs from Sweden

    Charlotta
    Space for Inspiration

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  18. How sad that she left so soon. She had a kind heart and generous soul and no doubt reached many in her short time here. I loved what you said: "I used to think she was feeling sad, now I understand that she was moved and connected to the beauty of it" How beautiful and I can see you have this trait too.

    Have a very happy Christmas

    Helen xx

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  19. My mother lost her Irish mother when she was just ten years old. My mother always said she prayed that she would live just long enough to raise me. What an indelible mark these losses have left. I feel so fortunate to still have my mom. xo

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  20. Ann Austin ThompsonDecember 22, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    What a touching story. My mother also opened her home and her heart to feed neighbors and strangers. She had a warmth and openness about her that not all of the family appreciated, but she didn't let that stop her from being who she was. Her essence was lost too soon, but I remember her to keep her light aglow and to not let her warmth pass away.

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  21. my eyes are all welled up, this was such a beautiful thing to share xox

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