In the midst of the pandemic as well as my deep despair over everything that is going on in the world right now, comes a welcome respite of joy and gratitude.
My only sister and her husband became grandparents last night, to a perfect little girl who was longed for and whose mom went nine days overdue before finally going into labour late yesterday morning. I am brimming with happiness for them all.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, my nephew was only permitted to stay in the hospital during labour and delivery, so like my sister and her husband and her other grandparents, he now has to wait until mother and baby are discharged to be with them.
A side note: when this same nephew was a baby and my firstborn was a young girl, she absolutely adored him. How do I know? Back then, she had a locket. She kept a pic of him in that locket along with a pic of herself. I smile whenever I think of it.
I can’t help but recall how thrilled I was when I became a grandmother fourteen years ago, to a dear little bundle who felt like a gift from heaven for all of us. And now my memories take me back to the day my own daughter was born.
I became a mom when I was barely a woman myself. So young I was, a child having a child. It didn’t take long, though, for me to make my baby a priority and to fall in love in a way I never had before.
Eight years ago, I wrote a short poem about it.
Remembering that day in June
when you were small and pink and new
your needs so urgent, your helplessness
eclipsing all I’d planned to do
Your eyes, the bluest I’ve ever seen
gazed into mine, I drank you in
strawberry mark on your behind
that perfect dimple in your chin
The tiny o your lips would make
when, nursing done, you fell asleep
that newborn smell, the lightest heft—
who knew that love could feel so deep?
“That’s my father.” … Seemingly an innocent and offhand remark made by the youngest of his three children, those three little words meant much more to our dad. I know it made him feel proud and happy to be that father, that figure of authority and loving protector of his family.
It was a responsibility he took seriously, a role that only he could execute with his unique brand of friendship, understanding and humour…”
“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true There’s nothing that I would not do Go to the ends of the Earth for you To make you feel my love.”
Bob Dylan wrote it. Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Adele, Neil Diamond, and many others recorded it. These talented singers knew a great song when they heard it.
Make You Feel My Love has been one of my favourite love songs ever since Dylan released it on his 1997 album, Time Out of Mind. As it happened, that was the same year he came to perform two shows at St. John’s Memorial Stadium here in Newfoundland, one of which Paul and I attended.
A little side note here about that concert: My daughter Denise was in class during her last year of high school when she heard through the student grapevine that Dylan was coming to our fair province. Knowing full well how big a fan her mother’s fiancé was, she phoned Paul from school on her lunch break to be the first to blurt the good news. Needless to say, we were elated and scored our tickets right away for the show. But as excellent as the concert turned out to be, Paul remembers that phone call with a special fondness. It showed him how much his stepdaughter cared.
Nowadays I like to tease him about the song and how I identify with the lyrics in the last verse shared above. I am reminded of how I followed him to Newtown five years ago. Now tell me, what could be more proof of my love and loyalty – to make him feel my love – than to go to “the ends of the earth” that is Perry’s Point, a wild piece of land that juts out into the cold North Atlantic?
Mushy? Sentimental? I don’t care.
*Photos taken from Perry’s Point on April 19, 2016.
Nothing gets me out of bed in the morning quicker than the expectation of savoring rich, delicious coffee.
At least two big, fragrant, caffeine-infused cups are an essential part of my routine and a necessity to get my brain working. Later in the day, however, my beverage of choice is tea, usually of the green variety.
I know; big deal, right? Why am I blogging about something so ordinary?
Because sometimes, something as simple and mundane as your cup of tea or coffee can be elevated to (extra)ordinary, depending on where you are, who bought it or brewed it for you, or who may be around to share the experience.
Sometimes a cup of tea is made extra special when it comes to you as a gift – a pretty mug and coaster in your favourite colour, along with your first infuser, and a yummy variety of loose tea flavours from DAVIDsTEA. (Thank you, Daughter. 🙂 )
Other times, a cup of coffee can be special when you get to enjoy it in a new locale.
Like the Caribbean!
And that is whether you drink it inside where it’s cool…
…or outdoors in the incredible, tropical heat.
Morning coffee tastes particularly wonderful in Rome…
Of course, when in Rome, it should be espresso, shouldn’t it?
Perhaps cappuccino? Nope. I stick to old, reliable Caffé Americano– style.
Java on the balcony of your room in Cannes also tastes pretty darn special.
And during a dinner cruise on the Seine in Paris?
The pleasure of a coffee after your gourmet meal is hard to outclass.
But as delightful as you can imagine all of these cups of coffee and tea were, there is one cup of tea I remember the most with enduring fondness. Today in particular, it makes all the others pale in comparison.
It is the memory of Mom and I sipping tea together in the late afternoon sun…
…on an incredibly special day, made that much more memorable by an intimate moment shared.
Today also happens to be a noteworthy day for my family. To be able to indulge in a good ol’ cup of orange pekoe tea with my mother today, on her birthday…it doesn’t seem like a great deal to ask for.
But again this year and for the rest of my days, fond memories will have to do.
Happy Birthday, Mom.
Knowing how much you always loved your tea,
this morning I’d like to imagine Dad putting the kettle on
and the two of you enjoying a cup together.
During a conversation with my husband last week, he said, “You sounded just like your mom, the way you said that.”
This wasn’t the first time he made the observation. Along with the unmistakable signs that I have become “a woman of a certain age” (ack!), sounding like my mother seems to have become yet another aspect of my getting older.
“Hmm,” I replied. “I was always told I was like Dad and his side of the family.”
“You may look like your dad, but you have more of Carrie’s mannerisms lately,” he told me.
So, yes. I grudgingly have to admit that sometimes, when the words fly out of my mouth, or if I behave in a certain way, it makes me think I may be morphing into the woman who raised me. For example, if I defend myself when teased, it’s as if I am channeling Mom. “You proper fun-makers!” Or if I refuse to give in to someone else’s demands, the comeback that comes to my mind is “And I won’t dance to your pipes!” These are just a couple of the dear old “Mom-isms” from yesteryear.
And there’s so much more. I’ve adopted her quick laugh, as well as her sardonic humour and her no-nonsense way of handling whatever life brings. All showing up in my actions, the older I get.
There was a time, when I was much younger, that I would have taken issue and disagreed with such a comparison. The truth is, I have always thought while growing up that I turned after my father. Dad had always been my hero of sorts, and he was the parent I had always identified with and wished to emulate.
But now, I see that bearing a resemblance to my mother is a badge of honour and a cherished rite of passage. In fact, I’m realizing if I could only be half the woman she was, with her intelligent observations and her kind, fun-loving nature, I would be more than proud.
In a couple of weeks when Mother’s Day rolls around, I will be remembering my mother again for the lovely yet strong person she was, for the way she lived her life, and for each and every valuable lesson she taught me. And even though I continue to miss her every single day that goes by, I will give thanks that she is still showing up in my life in other, more subtle ways. And I will give a special thank you to the universe for giving me the dearest woman anyone ever called Mom.
This week is a definite departure from the usual routine at our house. My daughter and her family came to visit on Good Friday, and we had a fun weekend together. Denise and Dave went back to town on Sunday, leaving the children with us for their entire Easter holidays. Here are a few photos.
Needless to say, my time and energy have been devoted mostly to our little guests. How was your Easter?
In my next post, I will be sharing some news. Stay tuned!
For several reasons, 2014 was a happy and productive year for yours truly, and probably the most pleasant since we moved to Bonavista Bay North four years ago.
Fittingly, the most popular song of 2014 turned out to be “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. With its simple, exuberant message and its cheerful beat, perhaps I’m not totally surprised it has become one of the bestselling singles of all time (Personally, I liked his hit “Get Lucky” a little bit more).
However, I find myself partial to the version below by Walk Off The Earth, a band from Burlington, Ontario. They are accompanied in this video by the American pop rock band, Parachute. Have a listen, and tell me what you think!
Thanks to Denise and Dave for introducing them to us a couple of years ago, and kudos to Paul for “feeling the endorphins release”. 😉
What was your favourite happy song of 2014?
Was it a good year for you, or one you are glad to put behind you?