Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Mom Would Have Been 64 Today

With so many people celebrating the Canuck's playoff finals, many are reflecting back 17 years ago. Seventeen years ago today, I was in the midst of a maelstorm. My mother had been struggling with breast cancer since about 1988-89 and her condition was not getting better at this point. My grandfather had been diagnosed with stomach cancer a couple of months earlier. While he was in the hospital, another relative, who had been visiting him every day, died suddenly from kidney failure. I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies. My grandfather died on Friday, May 27, the same day my degree was drawn up. As relatives arrived in town for the funeral, my mother arrived by train. She had been estranged from the family for some time. She lived alone in an apartment building in the Meadowvale area of Mississauga next to the lovely, but sombre Lake Aquitaine Park (pictured above).

My grandfather's funeral was on Wednesday June 1, 1994, the same day my mother turned 47: her last birthday. I remember the surreality of a birthday cake with candles being brought out during the wake at my grandmother's house. Next door, one of our neighbours was getting married: out went the wedding procession, in came the funeral procession. A couple of friends of mine had their first child that year, in the spring. Births, deaths, weddings, funerals, splits, reunions: that was '94. By the end none of us were the same.

I often wonder what would have happened had she lived to see me grow into the person I am today.

This song and movie were on my mind all summer that year:

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