Today is the 13th anniversary of the day my world was rent asunder. The day I became an orphan. The day my mother died. My father died in 1987. I recognized earlier this summer that he has been gone almost half of my life. How can that be? He was such a huge part of my world. Fun, entertaining, easy-going. He was the life of any party but never in a negative or embarrassing way. He grew up with family Ceilidhs on Friday nights and loved when people came over for an evening. Whether playing cards, playing music or enjoying one of the many neighbourhood parties. Dad loved kids. Which was a good thing since I had a habit of bringing home stray ones. He was really flexible which is another good thing since my mum’s huge menagerie of relatives were frequently at our house. And he loved my granny to bits. His mother-in-law. Even when she stayed for 3 months, or six.
My dad had a hard time at the end of his life and his death really was the only thing that gave him peace. But he left too soon and far too young – days shy of his 59th birthday.
I miss him every day and find myself frequently laughing at some of the things he said or did that are still vivid in my memory. Even today.
My mum died on September 10, 1999. She had a rare disorder but in the weeks just prior to her death, she was better than she had been for years. In the end, it wasn’t the disorder that took her. It was a heart attack, and a massive one at that. She would have wanted to die suddenly, but not alone. I’m sure she was terrified in those few minutes before she left us. And her pain would have extended to knowing her grandbabies would grow up without her to spoil them. They were her pride, her joy, her reason for living.
Like my dad, mum was the life of any party. The light in any room. People were drawn to her. Ours was the house where others gathered. It was inviting, relaxing, open and fun. Both of my parents had an amazing sense of humour. My mum inherited the Crawford wit. My dad was incredibly tolerant and would spent countless days, nights, hours listening to her retell the jokes, the tales that made others laugh. One of my fondest memories from childhood is the night 15 of us were crammed into a very small three bedroom cottage. The rafters were still exposed. Mum was in the far left bedroom, her brother from
Mum called herself the “Middle Child” Of course, she failed to mention that she shared that title with 18 others. Mum was the person everyone poured their hearts and souls out to. She was accepting, non-judgmental and a fierce and loyal friend. She was the best friend to each of her siblings and to her children.
Her passing has left a huge gap in our lives and in our family. We miss you mum.