In February of this year my sister gave me a lovely gift of a journal. No ordinary journal though. It had a distinct purpose. Dear Sister, from you to me, journal of a lifetime, was choc a block full of questions for me to answer. The purpose of these questions is to capture a unique illustration of key moments, experiences and feelings from my lifetime. Once the questions have been answered (pictures may be included too) I am supposed to hand it back to my sister and within the pages she will hold a unique record of how I have viewed and experienced life so far.
I can only guess that my sister has enjoyed my blogs about my childhood memories and felt that the questions contained within the pages of this lovely journal would give me ideas to keep the blogs flowing. Over the last year I have been busy working on a Master’s degree and have re-entered the world of working outside the home. I rarely had the time or energy to sit down and blog. I did however manage to fill in many pages of my journal. Some questions need no consideration. The answer to them is on the tip of my tongue. However, there are a number of questions that will require a lot of thought and consideration before the answer will end up on paper.
This morning as I was making my bed I spied the journal sitting on top of a pile of books and had a peep through it. As I flicked through the pages I came across a question which asked, what will you remember me for? The first line I had written was, this question made me cry!, which made me read through the next few pages to find out why. The following is what I had written.
This made me cry! I love you so much. I love your capacity to love. I love the way you are with my children. Of course I love the way you are with your own lovely children too. You have taught me so much. Since my two lovely children have arrived I have hoped that I am as good a mother to them as I have watched you be to your children. I will remember you as a kind, loving and generous person, someone I looked up to and adored.
I will remember your sense of humour, your ability to laugh at the most inappropriate moments. The times that Mammy Byrne’s back would go and we would be called on to help her up. You would enter the room all serious, a look of earnestness on your face. Within seconds of trying to help your face would be creased in laughter. As Mammy Byrne became more irate from her horizontal position on the bed you would apologise profusely explaining through your hysterical laughter that you really didn’t mean to laugh. It took me years to recognise this reaction to crisis in my own daughter!
I will remember the conversations we had at your kitchen table about how normal we are considering how much crazy is out there. This memory, as are many others, is accompanied by the smell and taste of prefect coffee and the feel of sunshine on our faces as we laugh and chat in your garden on hazy summer days.
I will remember your insistence that you never wanted a sister and hope that you can forgive me for not being a boy!
Mostly, I will just remember you, full of hope, joy and love. No one could ever replace you.
The questions that are posed in the journal aren’t questions that we ask those we love very often or at all. Yet the answers are probably worth sharing. Go on, tell someone you love them today and sure give them a hug while you’re at it.