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Dept. of Closing The Book

In the train's wake
Eulogy

I call this the department of closing the book, but I realize it won't truly be that. When people we love leave, closure doesn't mean shutting a door. It means making an agreement between between our heart and memory, that it's alright to forget for days and weeks at a time,that it's just fine to be happy and to go forward, because the ones we love want us to stay in the world.

In terms of this journal, it's closure, because this will probably be the last time I speak about Mum for a while. Thanks to all of you who listened since Oct. 27; who gave me hugs and offered sympathy and who took the time to listen as I talked about her. You people are treasures, plain and simple. Here is one last thing I offer you about Mary Glen - the eulogy I wrote and gave at her funeral. As Bob said, it was distilled in large part from the outpouring I wrote in the first minutes after I learned she had died. but the distillation made it a different thing.


She Was Made of Love

My mother is beautiful.

When I was a very little girl, and I looked at her smile, her soft hair that seemed so golden to me, her eyes, huge behind her glasses – it was clear she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She's the reason I always thought glasses made you pretty. I know she didn't think so – but she was wrong. At no point in her life was she ever less than lovely. The last time I saw her, sitting on the side of her hospital bed, I saw my beautiful Mum, just as I'd seen her so many years ago.

My mother is brave, and tough.

She grew up in the lean years of the depression and was a teenager in World War II, when boys went off in uniform and came back as names on cenotaph plaques. She married, had two babies, then had to walk away from that dream. She fought tooth and nail for her children. She came home, and helped support not only them but her parents. She worked nights, she battled loneliness, she pinched pennies, she put herself aside, and she simply thought it was what anyone would have done. I know differently; I know it takes a special kind of hero to do what she did. A stubborn, occasionally pigheaded, fearless, wonderful hero.

My mother is a dreamer.

Why do I love fantasy and science fiction? Because my mother did. The books I read as a young girl, she often read first. Even when she stopped – perhaps because she thought responsible adults shouldn't read that crazy stuff – she never thought I should stop. She bought me books and she never laughed at me. Years later, she rekindled her love of fantasy. She read Tolkien, and was a devoted Harry Potter fan. I think it's because she saw the magic in everything.

My mother is a healer.

Mum told me nursing had been a choice made for her, not her own – how lucky for this world, then, that someone saw her potential. A nurse needs to be tough; to know when to throw open the curtains and chivvy a patient onto the road to recovery, or to tell a young inexperienced doctor that he's doing it wrong. A nurse is delicate with the dying; gentle when caring for sick babies and frightened children; has firm hands; no fear of blood or messy medical reality. A good nurse is flint and flexibility, humor and heart. That was Mum.

My mother is a poet and a singer.

She never thought she was, but every time she wrote me a letter, or sent me little notes about things she had pondered, I saw the rhythms of a poet in her sentences, the imagery she wove unconsciously into everything she wrote. Any gift I have as a writer, I got from her. Her singing voice was like her speaking voice, a sweet, resonant alto. She sang with my Nana, she sang in the car, in the choir and in the Sweet Adelines. During my last visit with her, sitting in the hospital, we put our heads together and we sang, just a little, and we smiled at each other.

My mother is kind.

I don't need to tell any of you that. I don't need to tell any of you how big her heart was. So I won't. Just search your memories; each of you will have your own story of Mary Glen's hospitality, her helpfulness, and her humanity. Remember them, and be enriched by them.

My mother is a believer.

God is so lucky to have someone who loves him so much.

My mother was, and is, love.

Love was knit into her sinews and bones. I was blessed to have her. We all were. We all are – because we still have her. Mum, I miss you terribly; my grief is my selfish desire to have you back right here, right now. But you're out of pain, you're back in charge, and I'll see you when I get there.







This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/276834.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
time_converges
Nov. 11th, 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
Oh, that's wonderful - I'm so glad you shared it with us. Your mother sounds amazing, as are you. :) *hugs*
kaffyr
Nov. 11th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
Thank you - she is amazing, and wonderful.
ljgeoff
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this with us. *hugs* Love you.
kaffyr
Nov. 11th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
*hugs back* Love you, too.
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 11th, 2013 03:18 am (UTC)
This is so, so beautiful...I want to cry and hug you and -

This is beautiful.

Thank you for sharing her with us. I know I've said that before - but it bear repeating. I hope, with time, that you will share her with us all again. But I know that you need to get that understanding between your heart and mind. What you wish and what you must face each day.

But we do have to live on. This is what she would want. She loved you. She loved that you have a good life, a good husband, a good son and though you have problems, you weather them just as she taught you. I can say (definitely) that she was just as proud of you, that she loved you just as much (and that she found you just as beautiful) as you did her. We can all see it. I know she could, too.

So thank you for sharing her with us. Just as I thank her for giving us you. Blessings to you. Blessings to her (where ever she may be now). And blessings to your little family. Love you, dear one...

*HUGS*
kaffyr
Nov. 11th, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
Oh, my dear ... this is such a lovely thing to say, such a gift. Thank you.
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 11th, 2013 04:13 am (UTC)
It is only truth, lovely one. I may not be the easiest with words sometimes, but there are just some things that speak for us. Truth does that.

I love you dearly. I don't see how anyone could not stumble across you and NOT love you. The real gift is you, your Mum and how you show us moments of your life for us to share. It makes us feel a part of it, it shows us who you are. THAT is a gift.

And I am definitely thoughtful and rambley tonight. Sorry about that...*laughs lightly*

*HUGS*

Give my best to FB, BB and the babies.

<3<3<3<3<3
tardis_stowaway
Nov. 11th, 2013 07:47 am (UTC)
You've written her a lovely eulogy. I hold you and your family in the light.
kaffyr
Nov. 11th, 2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I appreciate your thoughts and wishes.
elisi
Nov. 11th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful, and brought tears to my eyes in the best possible way. The world is lucky to have known your mum. ♥
kaffyr
Nov. 11th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. My mother was so very worth knowing, and if I helped anyone feel as if they knew her even a tiny bit, then I am happy.
mack_the_spoon
Nov. 12th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
Beautiful. Thank you for letting us feel like we've known your mother. Many hugs, still.
kaffyr
Nov. 12th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
I'm honored to be able to give you even a little introduction to Mum. She was, and is, extraordinary. Thank you for the hugs.
namarie24
Nov. 12th, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
It sounds like your mother and Mack's & my grandmother would have gotten along - no, they are getting along, I'm sure.

A beautiful and expressive tribute. Thank you for sharing it.
kaffyr
Nov. 12th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember you both talking about your grandmother. I take what you say as a compliment to my Mum. (And if they have the chance to meet, I I believe they would get along quite well.) Thank you for reading it.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )