I was hoping that when this weekend came along, that I’d be too busy to notice. It’s sort of a double whammy, really. Not only is it a month since my mother died, but it’s also Mother’s Day. How’s that for timing? The whole world is telling me to rush out to Hallmark and buy cards, picture frames and flowers for the best friend that I lost a month ago.
Now that I’ve been back to the house, I think I’m finally starting grieve. It’s hard. This stuff has no manual. Our society, for some strange reason, is pretty quiet about how to deal with death. My family doesn’t really do somber well. And I mean, I wear black sometimes, but with two cats and a dog, it’s not really practical. So far, it’s been about remembering. Telling stories.
I want to share one with you, if that’s ok.
Two summers ago, I went over to my parents’ house on a mission. We went out and bought a bunch of fresh berries and picked some rhubarb from her garden. She was set on teaching me to make my own jam. You see, growing up, I used to visit her parents in Regina, Sask. My grandfather loved to garden and so, his entire backyard was a veggie and fruit garden. We used to pick the raspberries and saskatoons for grandma to make jam with. Jam has such a warm family feel for me. And it’s definitely a Mann thing (my mother’s family).
So, Mum invited me over and we went to. She had already done a batch of blueberry jam, if I remember correctly. So, first we sterilized all of the jars.
We then got all of the rest of our tools ready to go
I measured the sugar, as Mum wanted me to do as much myself as I could.
Note that I don’t have my engagement ring. This is about 6 months before Pat proposed. Dad was still alive at this point. It’s amazing how much has changed since then.
Next, Mum and I took turns stirring the fruit, sugar and gelatin mix. Eventually, I started smushing things too, so that it wasn’t too lumpy.
Much like with baking, I kept having to sample the product. You know, to make sure it wasn’t poison
And by the end of that hot afternoon, we had jam. Lots of super tasty jam.
I look back on that day fondly. It was hot, it was fun. It was pure Mum time. She was so pleased to teach me. I was so proud of the jam I made. I even brought some in to work.
This is how I want to think about Mum. I don’t want to cry at every ad on television.
Tomorrow, I’m going to my first wedding dress fitting. My girls can’t come with (Wedding, out of town and across the country), so I’ve invited my new family. Pat’s two sisters and sister-in-law have all agreed to go on a bit of a road trip with me, to support me and encourage me through this event that will most definitely be hard. I have to try to move forward. To love and live. I have to try to celebrate. I’m excited and nervous for it. It’s been about 5 months since I’ve last seen the dress. Hopefully, it’s as beautiful as I remember.
Today, as a Beltane gift to myself, I ordered Stephanie’s special edition of her beautiful tarot deck, Shadowscape. It’s been making quite the buzz online since it’s release. Part of the SE is that you get to put in a keyword and she will do a custom card related to it. I thought about it for a while and decided on “Growth”. Cliched, perhaps. I could have gone with healing, or grief…but I think Growth is exactly what I’m striving for. Healing is such a part of growth, and in the end, I want to move forward. I want to better myself. I want to learn so much. The future is so wide open to me now that I am no longer a caregiver. I have to find myself again. For the same reason, and maybe even as inspiration to walk forward with a bit of a lighter heart, I chose to get the Fool card as my print.
Stephanie describes the card here. This. This is so what I need in my life right now. Is that silly?
On a lighter note, a couple of shout outs:
Firstly, thank you very much to Juniper over at Walking the Hedge for the link. I appreciate it! You are one of my favourite reads and I’m spoiled that you’re local. I apologize to any of my new readers for the heavy content. I promise it won’t always be like this.
Secondly, I think, as another treat to myself, I’m going to get myself some of this. My friend, Amber, over at Swamp Herbal Pixie does incredible things with honey and wax. A year or two ago I ordered her Vanilla bean Chamomile Honey, Bunny Honey and Chai Honey. MAN, that stuff is beyond good. Bunny Honey is my all time favourite. And yes, the name suits. :D The Vanilla Bean Chamomile is INCREDIBLE in tea. It’s so smooth and soothing. Love it. The Chai Honey is luscious. The spicing is great and, as you can imagine, is perfection in a chai tea. I am also hoping to try her Sister Health honey. I have had some issues over the last couple of years with uncomfortable moon times, so all the help I can get, especially in the form of delicious honey, is welcome.
And now, I think I’m going to go read and relax with some ginger and mint tea before bed. It’s an early morning before the mini road trip. I promise to take lots of pictures. Oh, next up I plan on talking more about going through Ellen Dugan’s books and my plans for a new tattoo. <3