Mum & NalaSo I finally move mum’s old-fashioned trunk into storage, and use it to store her photo albums. There are a lot of them (twenty plus?). Amongst them, I find a binder- mum’s training course in Therapeutic Touch. (She was qualified- and talented. I was a frequent recipient.). The paperwork includes a “time line” of her life- a brief biography. This was completed in her sixties in the late 1990’s. Dad was still alive. (He died in 2000; Mum, in 2013.)
The writing is three pages long. Three pages. If you expressed your life in three pages, what would you say, and what would you leave out?
Long ago, Mum had a boyfriend, whom she expected to marry, who eloped with someone else. (“The sting of betrayal lasted a long time,” she wrote.) I think I recall hearing about this in passing, but it gets mentioned here in the three pages. It was more than important. It was Three Pages important.
Mum sums up our childhood in 1960’s Montreal: “Church choir, teaching Sunday school, shovelling snow and my small children is how I remember it.” An entire era, summed up thusly. And it ends touchingly, with her feeling her greatest support, in the 1990’s, from my brother, whose own forays into Eastern philosophy and spirituality link with her own search for spiritual fulfillment. Touching, because the two of them were like oil and water in his youth. All in all, it’s a rare document.

If your life were three pages, what would you say, and what would you leave out?

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4 thoughts on “What Gets Said, What Gets Left Out

  1. Wow, this is great to ‘hear about’–thank you for sharing this treasure.
    And what a powerful question–Three Pages.
    She had so much more to say about the Montreal years with you two, but when one has only 3 pages, I guess that is adequate.
    Oil & Water indeed!!! And you were always a gentle Rock for her.

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  2. Hi Norm, that is the first post I read on your blog cause every time I went on the blog I thought I had to register but it is not like thAt. Anyway….hi……good food for thought, put my life into three pages. Will make it a bit of a project. Do we get to read other people’s posts too?

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  3. Great post, Bro. I read the mini-bio she wrote and was surprised at the ending. Why? Because indeed we were oil and water, or so it seemed at times.

    I recall having conversations with her about meditation, philosophy, religions etc. but I had no idea she considered me to be a support. I recall her having moments of clarity about the topics we discussed. Her intelligence and curiosity were evident in our talks, which made them all the more enjoyable. But again, I did not know what it all meant to her.

    It reminds me that much about a person can remain hidden, despite what we think we know.

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  4. My mother left a book of stories about her life, which I have a copy of. I am glad to have it, but as with her letters, she writes the facts of what happens but there are no feelings spoken of. British to the end! I’m glad you have something of your mother’s life, even if it is only 3 pages, and it sounds like, in those meagre three pages, there are still surprises, which is interesting.

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