In our home growing up, there were many icons of Mother Mary, Jesus, many Saints and the Hindu goddess/god Shiva. There were also carved elephants, always with their trunks turned up and tails linked and other lesser gods of the land where she was born.
Our mother was deep of faith, and very superstitious.
We used to tease her that she was covering her bases. She graciously let us tease her and continued to pray to her Lord, the Father and Mother Mary while Shiva sat in the corner watching.
She would never put shoes on a bed or table. Never walk under a ladder. Never cross knives nor stir with one for as she used to say, “Stir with a knife, stir up strife.”
Our mother did not like strife. She did not yell. Cry out in anger, nor take the Lord’s name in vain. Though once, we did hear her say, “Oh eat it,” in response to some comment our brother had made that caused her to flinch. We laughed when she said it. She had no idea what it meant.
My sister Anne and I used to try to get around our mother’s aversion to profanity. We’d say, “Oh hel…………p”, spitting out the ‘P’ like it was a stone caught in our throats. We’d laugh gleefully thinking we were putting one over on her.
I don’t think we did. I think she just preferred not to hear what did not please her ears.
She never liked loud noises nor angry words. She used to always tell us that, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I didn’t often heed my mother’s words when I was young. I thought truth-telling meant only my truth mattered. That my truth gave me the right to speak my mind without regard for the feelings of those to whom I spoke.
At times, I flung my words at my mother like daggers to her soul. I cannot take those words back and long ago learned to forgive myself for my harsh ways.
Today, I take my mother’s words to heart and hold them near. In their nearness I find myself falling with grace into the space she always held with her belief that God would answer her prayers for each of us to know how much she loved us. She didn’t care if Shiva watched, or we teased her for her faith and superstitions. She was imbued with the spirit of knowing within the depths of her soul, that He loved her, cared for her and lead her in Love.
Thank you, mom, for the lessons in Love, for your steadfast faith in me. Thank you for loving me as I was so that I could grow with grace into gratitude for all that I am and all the Love that fills my world with such wonder and beauty, today and always.
We played this song for my mother as she lay sleeping. Alexis, my eldest daughter, who like mum, has the voice of an angel. She recorded an acapella version of it. It brought great comfort and ease to my mother while she slept and listened to the voice of one of her granddaughters.
The Celebration of our mother’s life will be held at 2pm, Tuesday, March 3rd at McInnis & Holloway,14441 Bannister RD. S.E. Calgary.