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lastpointe's picture



building memories

Hi all,


As some of you know, my mother passed away last week.  I don't intend on this being a thread to express condolances but rather one where we talk about how to keep memories alive, or how to cement them in our minds to live with us forever.

I have said that I worked hard to remember my dad's voice ( he died in 2002) .  I can clearly see me opening the door each month when they visited, him walking in, giving me a big hug and saying  "Hello love"


It is as clear as a bell.  I can almost feel his arms around me.


Now I am working on building one of these vivid memories of my mom. 


What memories do you have of your parents or what ones are you working on for your kids?  Do you talk about the past with your kids to help them down the road to   "remember that summer when we rented that cottage and it rained every day and dad said....."

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lastpointe's picture



I have so many memories of my mom.  She was the most graciouis and loving lady.  She was perfect really and yet not someone that you felt you could never live up to.


She accepted everyone.


how she woudl visit and fix all my plants that had been languishing since her last visit.


Tobagganing with grandkids well into her 70's

Roast beef dinner and pie every sunday ( teaching me to make pie)

Getting the dinner ready and then changing into nicer clothes before my dad came home from work

her absolutely love of babies and her immense skill with them

Living with me for two weeks after each of my kids were born to care for me and them .  What a great gift she gave me ( and my sister in laws too)

Her back seat driving

Her love of the Leafs ( Wing it davey to Dave Keon)


I miss her terribly adn right now i am working on cementing just one thing, I haven't picked which yet, to always have with me to pull out and remember her.

Beloved's picture



My mom and dad have been gone for quite a few years (12 and 25 years) - I can still hear their voices in my head - especially them telling me that they loved me.  I know my parents were not perfect - like all humans they had their flaws, but I remember and focus on the positive parts of their character and their raising of me. 


In my life, my mom was the most unjudgemental, unconditional loving moms - she might not always have agreed with my choices and decisions and might have told me so, but then that would be it.  She was creative and did arts and crafts, sewed, recycled, reused, reduced and composted before it became the thing in thing to do.  My mom was a wonderful plant person and gardener and loved to be outside in her garden even right up until she passed away.  I miss my mom a lot (as I'm sure you are doing right now lastpointe).


My dad had at the most a grade 8 education, but if he could have been tested I'm sure he would have been able to pass and receive many university degrees.  He was a self-taught, self-educated man, with a phenomenal memory, whom I'm sure read every book in our local library - there was not a subject he did not read about.  He loved nature and the outdoors and taught us that no creature was to be mistreated or abused.  I miss my dad a lot, too.


I wish I had spent more time talking, asking questions and writing down information from my parents - I can think of a zillion questions I would like to ask them now, but didn't think of at the time they were still here.



seeler's picture



Lastpointe - I have heard that (with exceptions of course) there is no closer relationship than between mother and daughter.  Regardless of you age when you lose your mother you will never be the same again.  Some connection has been broken.  I am sorry.


It seems that a lot of people on the Cafe have lost a parent recently.  I hope that when you come to us for support, we are there for you. 


My mother died many years ago, when I was just entering my teens.  I miss her yet.  But I take comfort in the memories I have of her.  She was intelligent.  She loved her children - her greatest regret when she realized that she was dying was that she wouldn't be there for us as we were growing up.  She was open-minded for her time.  She respected us, and talked to us.  I missed her a lot, especially when my children were babies and toddlers.  How I wished that I could have her over for an afternoon, or a weekend visit, or just pick up the phone and talk to her.  So many questions; so many time I could have listened to her advice; so many things I would have liked to share.  I'm sure she would have loved and taken pride in her grandchildren.


How do we keep memories alive?  Of course I don't have a movie or DVD or any recording of her voice from back in the early 1950s.  But I have a few black and white pictures that remind me of her:  Standing in front of the lilac bush with Mum and my siblings, dressed in Sunday best and holding our Sunday School papers;  at a picnic at the lake before she became too sick to walk at far;  visiting with relatives who came to visit.  


I talk with my sisters about life when we were little, and about our parents.  My older sister remembers Mum quite differently than I do - her strictness, her occasional bad temper, and surprisingly since I remember it so differently - her narrow-mindedness.  But we also remember trips on the train, going to town shopping for new shoes, or Christmas presents, or for her to see the doctor.  We remember her looking after us when we were sick, and getting us an extra blanket is we woke in the night and cried from the cold.  Her helping us with our school work, and insisting that it be done and done well.


I've written up stories for my grandchildren, and my sister's grandchildren, about what life was like when we were growing up and how Mum was a big part of it. 


And yes, I remember Mum teaching me to make piecrust - using only enough water to moisten the dough and handling it as little as possible so that it would be light and fluffy.


Don't worry, Lastpointe - you will always have your memories with you.


carolla's picture



So sad to lose our moms ... I miss mine still, and it's coming up to 11 years since she died.    Some ways we remember her ...

  • we have a special ornament which I purchased to honour her, and we hang it at the very top of our Christmas tree every year - we imagine her lovingly looking down upon us, enjoying all the chaos and celebrating
  • she loved to eat "London Broils" from our local butcher - when she would visit us or when we would go to the cottage, we made sure it was on the menu.  I was watching a vacation video the other night - at the picnic table, the kids said "Here's to Grannie!  She loves London Broils!"  So we think of her each time we indulge.
  • she loved playing games with the kids at the cottage - they tried so hard to teach her to play the card game "Cheat" - but she just didn't have it in her to be dishonest!   If it was her turn, and she was out - she'd almost always ask, "but what if I don't have any?"  The kids would instruct her, then break into gales of laughter when she tried to lie!   That's a picture I remember well!  Makes me LOL even writing about it here!


Lastpointe - I also recall her getting dinner ready & "dressing up" before my Dad came home from work.  They would always sit & have a martini together before dinner.  Kinda nice tradition in some ways, looking back on it.


somegirl's picture



I was in South End Halifax a couple weeks ago, out towards the park and I went over one of the overpasses over the cutting that the trains go though.  I remembered a time when I was quite young (maybe 6 or so) that my mom, and I think my aunt and grandparents were taking the train to Ottawa.  My father must have told my mom which side of the train to sit on and to look for us, but I didn't know that at the time.  After we saw mom onto the train and left the station, dad took us up to the cutting.  We climbed about half way down and waited.  When the train rolled my my mom and everyone waved at us.  I think that there might be a picture of that somewhere.  He did the same thing for me when I went out west when I was 18.  He stood on the cutting and waved to me.

ninjafaery's picture



Many of my impression of my mum that never left me came from my early years.  The unique feel of her soft, gentle hand on my forehead when I was sick.  Her way of moistening the hem of her housedress with her own spit to wipe my chin (I know that might sound gross, but it was really loving).  The way she'd give my hand a little squeeze to show me she loved me while we walked.

Little expressions she used that I still do.


I also saved things she'd hand written, like recipes and photocopied them recently to make photo mats for her pictures. 


You won't forget all that easily, I don't think Lastpointe.

pommum's picture



Today is my birthday - and of course my mum always called me, that special day of birth we shared together. Oh,  how I wish that phone would ring, yet I can feel her with me tonight. When special events take place such as a graduation, marriage, or birth of a baby I always think of her and wish she was here, but somehow I always think she knows. Your mum will live on in you Lastpointe, in the things you say and do, and all the things she taught you ..... and those things you never will forget.

Beloved's picture



Hey, somegirl, my dad used to do the same thing re: train when we were little and he put us on the train with our mom to go visit our granny.  Except instead of a cutting, once we were on the train, he would drive a couple of miles to the railroad track over the road and park there until we came by and we would all wave!

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