As I sit in my mother's dining room at her computer in a house that I grew up in, I am cannot help but think about family and connections. Everywhere I turn here there are a gazillion memories and I slip into being at home here so easily. I know where everything is (the fact that the house was frozen in time in 1974 does help with that), I have a great deal of comfort in being with my mom and we really enjoy each other's company.
I always convince her to drink red wine with me - she always insists that I have dessert with every meal and we find lots to talk and laugh about. I didn't always experience this degree of serenity in this house and some of the memories are of the struggles and troubles that every family experiences. The sting has gone from those years and what is left is a tender sweetness about all the times spent here.
My mother seems somehow timeless and although she seems a little more frail each time I visit, she is organized (balances her chequebook every month!), has a curious and enquiring mind, enjoys cooking and eating food that she has prepared (with a little assistance from M & M Meats) and harvested potatoes from her garden which we relished for dinner tonight. I have trouble imagining her not being waiting at the door for me when I arrive with a hug and some quick quip about how much luggage I am dragging into the hall. Having her here in this house has been a constant for me for all of my life and I have learned to treasure it - and her!
I did not get a chance to hug my children and grandbaby today and I miss them. The last time my daughter and I were here with my mom, my daughter was newly pregnant and as we all stood in the kitchen, we realized that the fourth generation was inside her and we marvelled over that. Now that grandbaby Kai is this powerful force in my life, I would love for my mom to hold him and have a chance to see this new blood-of-her-blood. I told her at that time that my dream would be to have ALL of my family close enough to touch regularly (like living on the same block would be good!). My mom, in her typically independent style, said that was my dream and she didn't share it - keeping her home and staying in it was most important to her and that would keep her a time zone and many kilometres apart from us.
I am coming to terms with all this - allowing each member of my family be who and how they want to be. I will continue to participate in having my dream realized - I hold this wonderful image of my mom, my daughter, my roly-poly grandbaby and me playing in a garden all together in the sunshine. Seeing that become a reality next summer would be very sweet!!