Jun 4, 2009

Words from My Mother

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. I completely broke down twice due to the stress of getting all my immigration papers filled out while remotely planning a wedding and dealing with some hiccups in planning. I also lade myself with guilt by misinforming my bridesmaid as to my location which meant she had to book a hotel, cancel it, find and book another one in a completely different city and then come visit me in my house filled with cats, to which she is allergic. I snapped a few times at my fiancé and let myself get so stressed my back started to spasm!

All in all, a pretty wretched day. However, by the end of the day, I got all the paperwork done. We managed to clear most things from our to-do list for that day and we had fun chatting with my bridesmaid.

The day was also redeemed by getting these kind words from my mother:

"Darling Elizabeth,
The next time I email you it will be as a married woman. I won't be able to say all I want in a five minute speech so I thought I'd just write to let you know how precious you are to me.
My sweetest girl, from the moment you were born we were connected until death. I cannot describe and you cannot know until it happens you yourself, the indissulouble bond of love that is formed at that moment. There are moments that imprinted on our brains forever and one of these was when I held you, my little bundle of paradise, in my arms for the first time. Migraines of joy aside, yours and Ben's births were the most profound, most connected and beautiful moments of my life.
Was it a mistake, naming you after Jane Austen's most self willed heroine?! You were, as you know, self-willed from the very start! How I loved that, although it was frustrating too since I had never experienced in my previous life, a will as strong as yours! What a joy and what a challenge it was having you in our lives. Some moments I will treasure and one or two of which I may mention in my official speech include:

You running away with a boy's pants on Malahide strand aged two.
You trying to go down the up esclator in what was then Roches Stores in Stillorgan.
You refusing to EVER to wear cool kiddy jeans and opting instead for fifties style frilly dresses.
Demanding pate and olives in Superquinn as reported by your Dad.
Informing me (when aged five) that the cat had died when I was in a state of denial about the inert lump of fur at the back door.
You telling me 'have a gin' in Malindi as I worried about your father being mugged or driven off the road on his way back from Mombasa
You asking innocently why is it dangerous to share knitting needles, having misunderstood a poster warning about the dangers of sharing needles.
You shouting out: 'I know what a blow job is' when I mistakenly called my Big Blow hairdryer by the wrong name.
You kissing and cuddling Ben when he was born.
You kissing and cuddling me (yes, you did, the odd time!)
Losing you in Dunnes Stores (often) then finding you in the toy department.
The first Mother's Day card you made for me.
Your face on the platform at Charlbury when your Dad and I returned from Sri Lanka. You were such a brave little girl staying with your grandparents for a month, but when you finally saw us you WERE overjoyed.

Some teen moments - definitely the best time!

You telling me I was a 'slut' when I turned up to collect you from school wearing jeans and a leather jacket. And yes, I can laugh about that now though I wish I still had the figure I had then!
Your excuse when your Dad and I discovered you'd been sleeping in the park all night: 'But if I'd told you, you would have stopped me!' Doh!
Your never explain, never apologise policy with the possible exception of the above 'explanation'!
The fact that you had the gumption to replace the window you broke while we were away, even if all else was chaos.
Your disgust at being told: 'You can't go out in a skirt up to your bum'
The way you could look me straight in the eye and say: 'I haven't been on ANYTHING' and look like you meant it.
The Milk Snake - need I say more.
Tremor (I still have Tremors thinking of him)
Your sense of humour which saved you from death by parent on more than one occasion.
You singing: 'You are the wind beneath my wings'.
The day you got the Leaving Cert.

And later:
Saying goodbye to you as you left for Notre Dame, the pride and the sadness of it.
Seeing you work in the lab at Notre Dame and realising: my daughter is a scientist!
The first time you brought Nick home! You guys are made for each other.
Meeting Buttons.
Your fairness to both me and your Dad when we separated. You played a blinder, even if I didn't see it at the time. I'm so proud of you my darling daughter, not just as a scientist but as a person.
Having you April Fool me that you were a lesbian.
The day you defended your thesis.
Doing water aerobics with you in Powerscourt Leisure Centre.
Eating out at the Olive Tree South Bend with you and Nick.
Showing Nick (and you!) around your native city.
Your famous line: 'I'll go to London with you so long as we don't have to do 'culture' ' This has to rank alongside Gorings famous 'When I hear the word culture I reach for my gun'
The day Nick asked for your hand in marriage (and the hints you'd given me beforehand.....)

Days to come

I hope that these will be as full of joy and laughter as the early days have been. The future is a blank page on which you and your beloved Nick will write. I wish you both all the love and joy, all the sharing and happiness this world can give. Above all may you be kind to each other, finding delight even in your failings and seeing the sweet familiarity of love in all you do.

From: To His Daughter
May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

-- William Butler Yeats.
With love from
Your Momx"

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I didn't realize that this was your blog! I'm sure you're married by now, enjoying a lovely honeymoon in the tropics. My mother calls me darling as well (but that's the British background of Guyana coming out of her). I hope life is treating you well. I know wedding planning sucks, but when the day comes, it's all worth it!

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