Friday, July 11, 2008

Life, the Universe, and Sweet Peas

The concert last night was really nice. I need not have been worried about it. Of course, it is usually the “good” children who do get involved in extra-curricular activities so we did not see many of the bad apples which was great. They also had a display of artwork that some of the sixth form students had done which was very interesting. Alex played very well as did all the other performers and we really enjoyed it.

This morning Guy went out to get Alex a new iPhone 3G which of course involved queuing. I want to upgrade my iPhone to a 3G but I’m going to wait till all the fuss dies down and everything is easier. I don’t really “do” queuing unless I absolutely have to- in which case I am a very well behaved “queuer” and get very upset if anyone does not follow the unwritten rules of queuing! Having said that, I’m a little jealous that Alex has his 3G and I don’t, but never mind! Poor Alex has to have his tetanus booster this afternoon – the least I can do is let him have the pleasure of being the first in the family to have one of these amazing new phones.

After I went for my run this morning I went out to have a look at my sweet peas in the garden. I’m not the sort of gardener who spends ages out there working, but I do love my garden and it brings me a huge amount of pleasure. I’m especially enjoying watching our garden here evolve and show me how it wants to look. It is the biggest garden we have ever owned, so I do have my work cut out for me! Anyway, back to the sweet peas…well, almost to the sweet peas but bear with me…

I have a china vase that used to belong to my Grandma Piott, which my Mom gave to me some years ago. It was one of the few things Grandma brought with her from England to Canada when she was a little girl. It is just a tiny little thing, with a heraldic shield on it and the words “Shrewsbury Abbey” underneath it. Mom gave it to me because I always loved it when I was a child. When I used to pick violets from our garden on Krug Street, this vase was just the right size to put them in. Mom used to let me carefully fill it with water and put the violets in it. I realise now that it was still relatively early days for my Mom in terms of her grief over losing her own Mom back then. My Grandma had died less than four years before I was born and I was still really little. I suppose it was a way for Mom to remember her, by letting me use the vase.

But back to the sweet peas (finally!). I’ve always made a habit of putting small flowers in Grandma’s vase – from the little buttercups Alex used to pick for me when he was a toddler to small flowers from all our gardens over the years. So I picked some of those first sweet peas that were in bloom and put them in it. When I stepped back to have a look at it, I suddenly realised that this was one of the first times I had used the vase since Mom’s death. It reminded me of her, and of when I was a little girl, picking flowers from our garden. And I suddenly thought how putting flowers in my little vase is kind of a way of remembering my Mom. It’s also a way of remembering my Grandma, even though I never knew her. And it made me think about all the amazing women I’ve known who have passed away. From Mom’s dear friend – the woman I always referred to as my second Mom - Jenny Modrowski, to my Aunt Irene, Aunt Trish and my lovely cousin Barbara Wild, without whom I probably would not even have come to England. It makes me happy to think that such a small thing, something that is so very old, can help me feel connected to all those wonderful women who helped me to grow into the woman I am now.

All that from a walk in the garden, an antique vase and a few little sweet peas. Who’d have thought?!

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