Thursday, August 14, 2008

April 9th, 1935 - August 12, 2008


She actually did it. I can't believe it and I hate death like you wouldn't believe. Yes, yes, she was ill and now she's not... but she was alive and now she's not. She was so very ill and every little thing required more effort than she had, almost... every breath was a struggle and her back hurt constantly, terribly... but she laughed and made fun of herself, and she loved my children and had words of wisdom that we either laughed at affectionately or took on board and agreed with, and she adored her great-grand-children like they'd been made from the purest ingredients and could do no wrong (which is true).
Mum was planning pot-holders in the midst of her drug and pneumonia induced delirium... just one or two. I took her a bag of culled felt I had for the op-shop in a nice new purple pencil case with embroidery cottons and a bundle of pictures to inspire her. I gave her the crappy felt because she (1) wasn't bothered by polyester like I am and (2) I knew she wasn't going to do anything and there were some good Mum colours.
Dad took her home last Monday (just over a week ago) and it was to die. She'd been fighting for so long and was losing. I stayed. Last night was my first night at home with Ross. I slept on a mattress at the foot of her recliner (purple) and we stroked her face and held her hand and fed her baby food and then shaved ice until she wasn't able to do it anymore. We washed her and I used my ray-gun to ward off well-meaning friends who stayed and stayed and would have (well meaning-ly) robbed my father of his last chances to be with her and redeem anything that needed redeeming and to tell her he loved her. He politely kept up conversations with friends and I'd see him glancing over and so I'd ray-gun them into submission. Sometimes I had to turn it to the highest setting.
We've cried buckets but there are oceans. It's no comfort to me to say she had a good life, it wasn't long enough. I want her here. We were the sewers. We remembered the stuff. We rolled our eyes at Dad and stuck up for the need to buy the trim that you could only get an hour's drive away because it was the right colour.
She stipulated that everyone wears purple at the funeral and you'd have to know her to say typical! I never wear purple and I said to my brother that I've side-stepped Mum's demands all my life and I wasn't wearing purple to the funeral, which is a lie. I'm wearing her jewellery... and I'm just about to make a purplish skirt... and jacket if I can be bothered. I've been meaning to make it for a few years and it's only right. But it's aubergine so I'm winning a bit and so is she.
So beautiful, that girl. Pretty, blonde, with big blue eyes. I have her hands but I'm much taller and dark.
Even though I've had Nick Cave's 'Death Is Not The End' going through my head for days... I'm not so sure. It's fucking un-natural, that's all I can say.
I love you Mum. I'll miss you forever but every time I look at my daughters I can see your personality. Even my son has your obsession with shoes. We're all stubborn and happy-in-ourselves.
So sweet and a little bit naughty.

4 comments:

Mich said...

She was always smiling, looking adoringly at her little dogs and her beautiful daughter. She'd tell lovely stories about everyday things and a husband who she loved so dearly but who couldn't quite understand the need for just one more thread. She'd move slowly and carefully, always with the oxygen cylinder trailing behind, never seeming to bother her till you forgot it was there. The world is sometimes graced by beautiful spirits. I'm privileged to have met two around Robyne's table. Thank you, Robyne, for sharing her with us all. The world is a darker place without her light.

Victoria said...

I cannot imagine. Much love to you and your family. She sounds so wonderful. Planning the pot holders. Directing everyone to wear purple! xxoo

Christopher said...

Our Beautiful Robyne,

Words are not enough I know, but your words - though pained - are heartfelt and wise. I did not know Aunty Judy as you did but my memories are all fond. I remember markets, and jewellery, and sewing, and dolls, and dogs, and laughter, and so much love for her family it was beaming from her. I don't know why it was that we never spent more time with Aunty Judy. Especially in later years it seems we only caught up when there was a health emergency with one or other of our parents. Stupid isn't it. Nevertheless, I feel privileged to have spent what little time we did together, and through her to have an enduring connection with you - her ever-loving family.

Love always,
Cousin Christopher

Genevieve said...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah Robbie. Blessings with you at this time. Much love. love. love. love.

No words.

Just love.