11 Aug. 2009

The Last of Our Firsts

Yesterday, August 10th, marked the first year of my Mum's passing. We have had a year of firsts, first birthday, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day etc, hence my title.
Dad lives five and a half hours away by car, with no stops, but we always stop half way for a break and a meal so the trip invariably stretches out to six or more hours. On Friday night we made the trek to stay at DH's Dad's house, half an hour from my Dad's, so that we could spend some time with my Dad. On Saturday afternoon DH and the kids took me to Dads and I had a sleepover at his place. He cooked tea, quite well I might mention, he is a very capable cook. He would often cook meals for us, I am one of five, when we were growing up as Mum worked alot of nights in the kitchen of a hotel.
Dad has got a little dog, a Jack Russell called Bessie. She is such a blessing. I am sure that she is the reason that Dad gets up in the morning. We, my siblings and I, are so, so pleased that Dad has her. Bessie sleeps with Dad during the night, however when I stayed she came to me during the night and snuggled with me. Dad called her a traitor, lovingly of course, and he was glad to share her with me.
Dad has begun to attend church. I was able to go with him on Sunday morning. My three sisters joined us, albeit a little late, while my brother (church is so not his thing) waited for all of us outside. After a cuppa with the parishioners we all went to the cemetery. One of my sisters bought a bunch of balloons, in rainbow colors, for us to release. DH and the kids had arrived by this stage, and the kids took great delight in being able to release a balloon for their Nanny.
We then went to a hotel for lunch. It was a good day, and a fitting way to remember Mum.
Dad had some misgivings, he made a comment to me that he would like nothing more than for the day to be like any other, for it just to slip by quietly. But with two of my sisters that is just not possible, the bigger the fuss the better as far as they are concerned. Even to the point of 'dancing and stomping' on Mum's grave so that Mum knew that we were there. I was disgusted. I had always been taught that to even walk on someones grave was very disrespectful. I haven't spoken to Dad to see what he thought, but I am sure that he would think the same as me.
Dad spoke of how badly he treated Mum at times, but it mustn't have been all bad as they were married for just shy of 57 years. We had a very stable upbringing. I lived in the same house until I was married, and I never had to change schools, except for going to secondary school when the time came. Dad thought that Mum did a great job of rearing us kids. You see, Dad wasn't always around. He was a shift worker on the railways. I assured him that he was and still is a great influence on all of us.
Mum, I miss you so much, you were always there for us. Whenever I was unwell, you would always come to help out. I still expect you to answer the phone when I ring, or to be on the other end when I answer our phone. I love you Mum and you will always be in my heart.

An Aussie girl who loves to cross stitch