My mum didn’t do anything that put her into the national spotlight. She didn’t lead marches or organize unions.
She was lifetime teacher. She taught young army recruits as my dad did his two years of mandatory service. She taught math and science and music formally and anything she knew she shared. Toward the end of her life she taught a mother and daughter how to slow down and in their case to feel the soil. The mom wanted to set up an assembly system that would get the most done but mum was having none of it. She got the little girl to feel the soil and understand what it did for the plants and the mom realized that speed wasn’t everything. It was a moment both remembered.
Mum could seem timid and worried but she was fearless. My dad was a rageaholic who emotionally and verbally abused us for as long as I can remember. You had to tiptoe around him. Mum put up with it for years trying to maintain a marriage and a family. Dad had more than one nervous breakdown and he would do things like try to jump out of the car while mum was driving. She would drive with one hand using the other to hold the automatic lock shut. She decided she had to leave when she found herself standing behind dad with a knife and could see herself killing him. Dad slept with a loaded gun under his pillow. It could have had a very bad ending. So mum took up all of her courage, gathered all of her resources and she left. It was a hard decision because she left us as well but it was the right decision.
When I was a kid mum was afraid of flying so she became a pilot. She wasn’t sure about sailing so she became a sailor eventually owning her own boat.
When mum went sailing in Bora Bora she free dove into a cave that most people accessed through another route with scuba diving tanks.
She canoed in Alaska – and with a little misdirection from her hubby she canoed off of a small waterfall with him. When they went off he told her “when we hit the water just keep paddling” – sound familiar – she did and they made it through.
She fiddled oh how she fiddled. She loved fiddling and making music and she could do it for hours. Oh and she danced. My step-dad recently told me “one of the happiest part’s of mum’s life was her music. In her later years she had plenty of freedom, time, and encouragement to pursue it. Those are some of my happy memories. Her playing away on one of those violins. Most of us should be as lucky. That activity and her dancing would be a great subject for images, memories, and writings”. He’s working hard at trying to make sure that I remember the good times and not just the pain of losing her and how very much I miss her.
My mum was my best friend. She and I would be on the phone for hours especially now with all of the insanity. She would be marching today. Dressed all in red. With a red hat and everything.
She didn’t change the world but she impacted many people and they, together with all the people that they touch, will.
Mum died from pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed in May and died in November. She was active to the very end. I challenge you to find the pictures from above that were within those last months.