A life of 93 years plainly takes more than a single blog post to recall. There are insights on the blog I've just finished, insights into the person who was there before I was born. So today I'll celebrate instead the memory of someone who was, I now realise, incredibly wise and sensible in her dealings with the world and with people. Some people have a habit of asking, in moments of stress or irritation, 'What would Jesus do?'. I find, as life flows around me in currents that pull me in directions I could never have imagined, tugging me into situations where I too need wisdom, that I have changed that question. 'What would Mother do?' I ask.
And tonight, we're having a party - her two daughters and the sons-in-law Margaret Findlay was so grateful to have. We shall drink champagne in a toast to a woman who signed the pledge in early childhood but who relented in her 80s when we began taking bubbly to her birthday lunches. Here's to you, mother - cheers!
Today I would have phoned -
wished to share the small
details of my life, the
safe return, the laughing
at the rain which fell
as if the Flood would come.
But had I rung the number
as familiar as my name
you would not be there.
A stranger’s voice would say
your words, and the strangeness
would be too much to bear.
And contemplating this
a glacial shifting in my soul
gave promise that in weeks not lived
the frozen tears would find the way
and spill into a distant sea like
drops into the ocean of my love.