And a Pot of Habitant

The man my mother was dating, the man I call a sort of step father now, tells me that he uses the day he last spoke to you as a day of reflection.

You come to me differently. At the meat counter, when I see the pea meal bacon. In Nana Pearce’s shortbread.

You speak to me when I do not think that I can carry on and I still get out of bed. When I put my napkin on my lap, when I am kinder than I have to be. When I make lists of what has to be done. When I arrange the flowers at my former brother in law’s funeral. When I love with an open hand; when I struggle to understand that things are what they are. When I tell someone that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

There was not much good about you, if I am honest. Especially at the end, you were a bitter and vile woman. You would have destroyed me if I gave you the choice. I chose this quite and peaceful life. I am not sure that another 40 years of it will be enough to make up for what you inflicted on me.

Save this. You come to me in a pot of split pea and ham soup. In the loaves of sourdough that are rising in my oven. And when I take the soup and the bread and some flowers to a friend who finds herself starting over in a new house. That’s what you would have done.

That was the best of you. That was the part that I remember. If it was never for me, it was for others and you showed me how.

I miss you mumsy. You left without a word 5 years ago. Messiah playing in the background, a clear blue and cold sky. You saw a door open and you walked through.

I hope there’s peace. I hope there are flowers and a garden. I hope there is pea meal bacon and fresh bread and beautiful music.

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1 Response to And a Pot of Habitant

  1. debby says:

    My mother was pretty irrational in her last couple years. She was dying of liver failure and her rising and falling ammonia levels had a profoundly awful effect on her rational thought processes. She hated me at the end.

    I read this post about your mother and you, and in it, I found my mother and me. Thank you for this gift.

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