Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Memoriam

A year ago today my mum died. While she had been unwell, I certainly didn't expect her to die on that particular sunny Saturday afternoon and I miss her terribly. I am saddened that she missed the arrival of her first grandchild by a mere three months and I feel her absence every time Lil' Edges reaches a new milestone. Below is the eulogy I wrote for her funeral.


One of the earliest memories I have of my mum is of her dancing around in the kitchen to Donna Summer while she cooked. With the music turned up loud, she twirled around singing and adding ingredients to whatever dish she was creating while I clapped and giggled at the show. Later, when I was a little older, mum would let me help and we soon had our own special chocolate slice recipe that we always made together. Mum had a number of brilliant dishes, her pasta sauce, her wine trifle, her coleslaw to name just a few but she hated cooking. In fact I’m pretty sure that she taught my dad to cook the Sunday roast just so she wouldn’t have to!

From Mum I learned to have fun doing chores. I learned that music can transform the mundane into the extraordinary.

Mum was always trying new things. She was creative and talented. At one point she developed a taste for renovating Antiques. She dragged us all over the countryside looking for bargains. One time, Mum was rummaging around in what appeared to be a pile of rubble. Eventually she emerged triumphantly with four dusty pieces of broken wood. “Look at this!” She exclaimed. Dad and I exchanged confused glances before turning back to haggle with the storeowner over the price of an acoustic guitar. Three weeks later Mum emerged from the garage with a beautifully crafted antique picture frame, which now houses their wedding photo. We were amazed. Somehow she always managed to find magnificent pieces hidden in an obscure corner covered in dust.

From Mum I learned to look into things more deeply. I learned to try new things and to persevere when things seem hopeless.

Mum was fiercely independent and encouraged me to get my driver’s license as soon as I was able. We were driving home from Shepparton one afternoon soon after I got my learner’s permit, with me behind the wheel and mum in the passenger seat. Mum had been a bit nervous about letting me drive but as I pulled into our street she relaxed and started flicking through a magazine. Although I slowed right down as I pulled into the driveway, I forgot to apply the brake and crashed her beloved car into the gate. We peeled the mangled gate off the front of the car to survey the damage. The left indicator was hanging about three inches off the bumper blinking away. “Hey, at least the indicator still works.” I offered. Mum was not impressed.

From Mum I learned to be self-reliant. I learned to find a way to get where I wanted to go.

Mum was excited about becoming a grandmother. On the night before mum passed away, for no reason in particular, we watched the ultrasound dvd. She was captivated by the detailed images of her grandchild moving about.

Mum, although you didn’t get to meet your first grandchild in person, you can rest assured that she will know you and learn all the wonderful things that made you who you were. 

You are in our hearts, always. 

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  1. What a beautiful piece! I'm sure wherever your mum is, she'd be proud of you now... And so proud of her grad-daughter too.. *hugs* I know today will be hard..

  2. What a beautiful tribute. Your mum sounds lovely xxx

  3. On the 22/11 it was 5 years since my mum had passed away. I can't say it gets easier, I find myself focusing worrying I'll forget something about her; her voice, her laugh, her phone number