Sad News

Maisie

On Thursday of last week, we had to say goodbye to our little Maisie. She’d been ill for several months, had stopped responding to her meds, and we knew there was nothing else we could do. We couldn’t let our baby suffer anymore.

Needless to say, we are heartbroken. Vivian misses her too. She roams from room to room — and outdoors — looking for her sister and lifelong companion.

We console ourselves by remembering Maisie had a full and beautiful life. No cat, ever, was more loved. She always had Viv to watch over her and keep her company whenever we were away. She reveled in the freedom to explore the outdoors here on Perry’s Point, but preferred to stay close to us when we sat out on our deck.

Maisie, you were much more than a pet to us. You graced us with heaps of generous love and affection and your sweet, unique brand of friendship for almost thirteen years. And your quiet dignity, even in sickness, will never be forgotten. You are pain-free at last.

Sleep well, dear angel.

Smile

Reflecting on the Little Things

For me, this winter has been a time of deep reflection. The dormant months are ideal for slowing down and looking inward, giving one a chance to rest, to heal, to quiet the mind and to focus on the spiritual side of life.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about and missing my mother more than usual. She has visited me in my dreams quite often in recent weeks.

I wonder why.

I suppose I could chalk it up to growing older and becoming infinitely more aware of my own mortality. Or maybe she knows I need her more right now.

Today, I dedicate this post to you, Mom. I wrote the following piece in January of 2012, ten months before our final goodbye.

 

The Little Things

 

You always hear people say that we shouldn’t love the material things in life, and usually I am inclined to agree. However, in one particular area of my life I must beg to differ. Sometimes we have certain items that are so very precious to us because they keep our memories bright.

My mother is now in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She has changed so much in the past few years, from a vibrant, independent and beautiful woman, into a person who needs constant care. She can still smile in recognition at me but can no longer carry on a conversation of any sort. We are losing her, bit by bit, with every visit and every passing day. This is probably why I hold on so tightly to a few items that came from her.

As I write this, I am wearing a pair of wool slippers that my mother knitted for me. They are teal blue and white with little bows sewn on the top. I found them a couple of months ago when I was sorting out some storage items, and even though they are a little tight, which was the reason I had put them away in the first place, I’ve worn them ever since, stretching them so they would fit. Just knowing that she had made them for me gives me comfort.

While I was looking for Christmas baking inspiration a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for cherry cake in my collection, written in Mom’s elegant handwriting. I remembered her making that recipe many times over the years. My heart ached with loss as I read it, but I knew I had to use it. Now that Christmas is behind us for another year, I still have some of that cake left, and I savour every bite.

And on my right hand, I am wearing my mother’s wedding band. It had been sitting in a little box in my dresser drawer for months, waiting until the day it would go on her finger for the last time. So for now I am wearing it because it makes me feel closer to her, and to Dad as well.

So please don’t try to tell me that things aren’t important. Sometimes it’s the little things that we need to hold onto, the touchstones for our priceless memories. Sometimes it is all we have.

Our lovely mother in her younger days

Tree in Autumn*


On the cusp of her dark autumn

November gathers and descends
once bright in October’s glow
her fallen raiment of gold
now flies upon the wind.

Stiff limbs scrape the starless sky
mute shadows fill her spaces
so no one sees the cracks
wrought by her many seasons
of frost and limp regret.

©J.K. Perry

***

*Photo taken November 14, 2019 in Grand Falls-Windsor

Nighttime and Here I Stand:
2 titles in #2019picoftheweek challenge. For details see MariaAntonia

Friday Fiction: Reunion*

pexels-photo-1097387

– Reunion –

He sees her
at the edge

of the crowded soiree
and knows her instantly.

It is a blow.

The first time
in thirteen years
Fate has brought them
together
years for her
he’d heard
were far from kind.

He thinks
how dramatic
change can be from
Life’s random cruelties
and how no one
can prepare.

A nervous voyeur
he peeks into her eyes
smudged windows
at the brink
of unimaginable pain.

It frightens him
makes him wish
he hadn’t heard the rumors
the images evoked
and now the proof.

Her face
the same yet injured
from the inside of her trauma
haunted eyes far too mature
for her years
aspect stamped with the hurt
she tries to hide.

And he wonders
when she finds his broken smile
how it was ever possible
that once
she swarmed his secret dreams.

She turns away.

It occurs to him
she read it in his heart
and knows
the Muse has passed.

***

*First published here.

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

Thanks for reading!

Friday Fiction appears on random Fridays as a place to share my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes.

I Dream*

Always in my heart – Happy Father’s Day, Dad

 

*Poem originally published here on Sept. 25, 2013

Sad

I have always hated good-byes. They suck.

There are all sorts of good-byes in this world. This past weekend, a blogger friend of mine had to say good-bye to one of her dear little cats, and everyone who knows me at all knows what cats mean to me. I feel your grief, Lois!

And you might think when another blogger friend decides to no longer continue with her blog that it wouldn’t be a very big deal, but to me, it is. A virtual, cyber relationship can be meaningful, especially when it is a relationship that has gone on for a while and you have supported each other in ways other people can’t. She will be missed. 😦

But I am richer for having known her. As a writer, I understand why she needs to do this. And we will still be in touch on Twitter (though that isn’t the same!)

I wish all the best for you, C.R., in your writing career and everything you do.

Try to drop by once in a while, okay?

That is all.

scarecrow goodbye

A Cup of (Extra)Ordinary

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.

IMG_0182 (800x533)

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)ordinarydepending on where you are, who bought it or brewed it for you, or who may be around to share the experience.

IMG_0183

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. 🙂 )

mothersday 015
Forever Nuts is my new favourite from there. How fitting. 😉

pic_for_cup_of_joe

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…

cuba 159

…or outdoors in the incredible, tropical  heat.

pic_for_cup_of_joe

Morning coffee tastes particularly wonderful in Rome

rome 051

Of course, when in Rome, it should be espresso, shouldn’t it?
Perhaps cappuccino? Nope. I stick to old, reliable Caffé Americano– style.

pic_for_cup_of_joe

Java on the balcony of your room in Cannes also tastes pretty darn special.

pic_for_cup_of_joe

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…

859311_10152902357533569_5168061021396633877_o
My wedding day, August 1998

…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.

05-10-2-2

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.

And I’ll raise my cup to you.


Jennifer

Friday Bouquet #22

 

Karen at Healing Your Grief knows all about the enormous shock of suddenly losing a precious child. She lost her nine-year-old son to a car accident, and found a way to journey through the pain by writing about it in her blog.

In her own words:

When we tragically lose one of our children, our entire world comes to a grinding stop and everything we have ever believed is questioned.
Through understanding this journey you have been given, my wish for you is to connect to a new hope and to a process of complete healing.
You may at first not understand how you could ever survive this loss, that there can be no way out of this pain, yet over time, I promise, there is a way through.”

I have chosen to share her first post because it explains how she is courageously surviving such a profound tragedy.

My Journey – Walking Through Grief

shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com
shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com

Comments are closed here in the hope you will visit Karen’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

“You’re Like Your Mom…”

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.