The start of this week was plagued by strange vortexes, I think triggered by having a virus, the cold weather and my big black duffel coat coming out of hibernation. I was continually taken back to the bitterly cold walk to and from the hospital to see my Mum back in January, with my brother and Dad.
Another vortex opened, taking me back to talking on my mobile phone outside the hospice, and watching my breath form clouds of steam. Somehow when I put on mascara, I am often whisked into another vortex which finds me sitting on a particular bench outside the hospital, probably then I was trying not to smudge it.
I took Mr G to the park, thinking it would do us good to be outside, no matter how cold. We spent a happy ten minutes burying ‘treasure’ in the sandpit. Then a little girl and her Gran sat down next to us. I’m still not great at these situations, these little reminders of what’s missing still catch me off guard. Fortunately Mr G dragged me off to find more treasure.
Later that evening I found a little legacy on my daughter’s newly tidied bookshelf. The perfect antidote to the day’s vortexes:
My Mum found it in Oxfam a couple of years ago. It’s been one of my daughter L’s favourite books. Now she’s in reception class and learning to read. Her teacher has asked us to focus on sounding the first letter of each word. Many days L is just too tired and doesn’t want to. But finding Zug the Bug again enthused her. This set of books make that fun, each page the first letter of the word changes, zug, bug, lug, slug, mug.
Loss leaves gaping holes, but then little legacies come and fill them. mum would be a much more patient at teaching L to read and G to find treasure, but she did an amazing job of preparing me to do it. She left little hints and tips absolutely everywhere. I’m reminded again of the words of Kahlil Gibran:
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
I wish I had paid more attention the very last time mum came to visit, she made a huge fuss out of reading both children stories, I would love to know which books she read them that night. We kept poking our head upstairs wondering if she had finished, but no. She got cross with me and my husband for rushing through stories without talking about them, as parents sometimes do after a long day.
Now when I read stories at the end of the day I often feel emotional, a powerful feeling that it’s just me, my child and a book at the end of a day filled with distractions. But it’s a magical time and one I cherish.
With both children sleeping soundly that night, I crept upstairs to my desk in the attic. My subconscious must have been playing games that day because it took me to Why Mummy Why’s post in which she explains the joy and pain of a long forgotten book so beautifully and humorously.
Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors. Feel free to link up a little legacy you’ve been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here’s the code and here’s more on Little Legacy