Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Will Remember You...

Hi Everyone,

As you may recall, last month I totally gimped out and did a lamer than lame post. I was going through some family issues at the time, and well, I just didn't have the time or energy to get creative. Wouldn't you know, my family problems escalated this month. Just last week, I lost my mum. While she'd be ill for a while, I can tell you, I never imagined she'd pass so quickly.

Now don't worry, this isn't going to be an endless blog about dying or my views on the afterlife, but it's brought about another significant change in my life. I'm now the oldest living female in my family. Me!!!! In literally the space of a breath, I've gone from being the next generation to being the last generation, and I'm not exactly sure what to make of it. I mean, I'm not old enough to be the wise woman of the family...

I think what's really hit home for me, is how the passing of a generation also means the passing of traditions. As luck would have it, it's my birthday tomorrow...and it's made me realize that this will be the first birthday I don't get a card in the mail. (yes a few friends will hand me one, but you know what I mean.) My mum was a huge card person. I mean she'd send me a card thanking me for my thank you card. She's probably haunting my butt right now because I haven't sent out proper 'thank you' cards yet for those that came to pay their respects. I can assure you, Hallmark is already feeling the pinch. But I realize that sending cards is a tradition that's gone with her. I'm an e-card kinda girl. I'll send plain one, custom ones, and ones that dance and sing, but I hate spending five dollars on a card people feel guilty about tossing away because they know you've spent five dollars on the damn thing. E-cards I can keep on my computer forever if I'd like. It just seems to make more sense. But it's strange to think an entire tradition just vanishes.

There's other traditions that will be lost as well. Those strange concoctions at holiday dinners... you know that green jello mould thingy that no one liked... gone because I sure as hell don't know how to make it. Now that my be a blessing in disguise, but now I kinda wish I'd learnt, if for no other reason to make my children suffer the same fate I did. (Yes, I am that evil at times:) Then there's the stories...the ones about when she was a kid...silenced forever. And the pictures that no longer make sense because only she knew who was in them.

It makes me wonder about my heritage. How entire cultures manage to pass their information on from one generation to the next, yet for many of us, we can't recall our cousins if someone's not there to tell us their names. I never put much stock in it before, but it makes me question that decision now. Don't get me wrong, Hallmark will have to suffer the loss, and I'm really not fond of green jello, so it looks like the kids are safe. But I'm sure there'll be many times over the next year when I'll stop and say...hey, mum would have known the answer to that one.

So, I'd like to ask the million dollar question...what traditions have or will go in your family? How do you feel about becoming the oldest generation? Any words of wisdom? Feel free to leave a comment if you've also made this auspicious rite of passage, or if you're wise beyond your, not so much.

I'll leave you with the lyrics of a song that's been haunting my mind for the past week. It's by Sarah McLachlan, called I Will Remember You..

I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by,
Wait not for the memory.

Dedicated to my mum...Lee.
While fleeting in my hand, you're forever in my heart.

Romancing adventure at a time.


Carol Lynne said...

Beautiful and thought provoking post, Kris. We don't have a lot of traditions in our house, but one that will continue at least through the next generation is formal tea on Mother's Day. We've done this since I was a girl and my grandmother sat at the head of the table.

I have two sisters and two daughters, and thankfully my mom. Each of us makes a different finger sandwich and sweet. We wear big silly hats and sit around the dining table for several hours laughing and telling stories. My daughters (8 and 10) love this day. It gives me confident hope that Delaney and Riley will celebrate Mother's Day in the same way when they are mothers.

Tessie Bradford said...

Kris, my thoughts are with you and your family.

I lost both my parents within a year of each other when I was 42. My two brothers and I have continued many family traditions with our children. We also tell lots of stories which hopefull will continue to be passed down through the family.

Bronwyn Green said...

This is a beautiful post, Kris and I know I've said it before, but I am so very sorry. I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I have nothing. {{{Hugs}}}

Jude Mason said...


My heart goes out to you and your family. I lost both my mother and father in '94, within a week of each other. We decided Mom simply couldn't live without Dad so off she went too. It was a horrendous time for us kids, even though we weren't really kids any longer.

Traditions we carry on are things like the Christmas dinners, the special English desserts she made, the day after was bubble and squeak and the heavy puddings my daughter and I both love. To this day, I still talk to Mom. I've never visited her grave, but she's with me always.

And you are the eldest, therefore you are strong enough to be just that. I'm the oldest woman now and it's been quite a shock. To have others come to me expecting me to know the answer. Yes, a real shock.

Bless you and be strong for your family. It comes naturally. It really does.


Kris Norris said...

Hi All,
First off, thanks to you ladies for leaving your thoughts. It's means more than you know...

Carol...I absolutely LOVE your tradition!! What a great way to celebrate mothers... and how wonderful your daughters love it as much as you do... I'm happy I finally learned how to make pies this past year... I know, but I'm not a huge pie fan, but my mum insisted I learn and now that she's gone, I feel honoured I can carry on in her footsteps...

Tessie....thanks for the kind thoughts. My dad is going on 81, so my brother and I are just trying to make his time here as happy as possible... I hope he sticks around, though I don't plan on waiting anymore... I'm also trying to be a bit more patient with the olden day stories...though to be honest, if I here one more car story, lol...

Bron... as always, girl, you humble me with your sincerity. And you have more wise words than you know. I'm honoured to be your friend and can't thank you enough for everything you've done...

Jude... while I cringed at what you and your family must have gone through, I can see how it happens. My dad is definitely lost... I can only imagine losing someone you've been with for nearly 60 years. It broke my heart to stand there and watch him say goodbye...I hope he decides to stay with us, but I also would understand if he decided to go... it only goes to show that love is far more powerful than any drug or medicine. As for being the eldest... I'll gladly shoulder the load, I just pray no one asks me to make that God awful green jello!!!

I will be keeping some traditions as well...I think it just struck me how it's so easy for parts of your life to fade with the passing of a loved one... here's to holding on to that which means the most to you.

Thank you all for your comments. I'm humbled.


Genella deGrey said...

Your post both touched and inspired me.
Lots of love -

賢諭 said...
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