Only just today do i understand why. Writing this first entry after my Mom’s story has proven to be one of the most difficult and challenging transitions of my life. It’s like finally admitting that life does indeed go on….
Oh, and Life has been so unceasingly busy this year. Go Figure. That I have perhaps orchestrated it that way is not lost on me. With no time to pause and reflect, to sit with the pain and emptiness that comes on Sunday mornings when I call her to share… hand frozen on the phone as I remember. When I have to make trips back to the Island on that ferry and the pain crawls in close then as I usually miss a boat and am left with no choice but to sit quietly for 2 hrs surrounded with decades of memories. As randomly as grocery shopping…Chocolate….Lilacs…The screwy hour hand on the clock in my kitchen……my mohair hand knitted mittens.
I have been for the most part able to carry on as if she may soon be coming back….But like her dear Soul Dog, Toby, I have finally begun to get that she is just not coming back.
I had a visit with him last time on the Island, and he was just done waiting and so, off he went off to find her. Another piece of her goes as well for us, and yet, life goes on…
Don’t get me wrong….I love life and understand its ebb and flow and rhythms that color it and shape it and mold it to be always perfect, balanced and natural intellectually and spiritually. But Emotionally?
It hurts like hell and I miss my mom so much it staggers me sometimes.
I will heal. I will allow the pain to come in and pass thru. I will be still enough to feel. I know that she has never left me. I see her in every Red Tailed Hawk that flies so often in my path whenever I am unsure or question…..
This grieving process is a first timer for me and my compassion for those who have lost one so close knows no bounds now…I get it. Hiding in buckets of work is what we Travers’s like to do, and feeling the bad stuff sucks, but better out then in. So I learn a new ability. I feel the tender raw new sensations and the dirty, gritty, rotten old ones as well. The sweet taste of memories running down my face, the empty ache inside that I simply just need to allow myself to surrender to. Odd I suppose that it has taken so long for me to really feel this, but then again, I guess not. I am the past master at not feeling, and well well well…don’t old habits die hard when the chips are down.
The most beautiful thing about all this though? The only thing I need to do is also the hardest thing to do. Feel and feel and feel and feel and feel and then…
and begin again.
Ever since I was elected to write your obituary, I have squirmed under that name. It just makes me cry….
And I just cannot plunk your life in some stereotypical, generic box, some glanced over section in back of the local paper. From the moment you were born on October 12, 1935 to the day you left us on Feb. 22, 2011, you were anything and everything BUT!
You were born to Hans and Elisabeth Wolf in Kassel, Germany on Sat, the 12th of October, 1935. Along with an older brother, Uwe Jens (now living in Alamo, Texas), the family of four survived WW2 in Germany, and immigrated in 1955. What you experienced in those dramatic years growing up, you only shared tiny amounts with us, enduring circumstances we could never imagine. It was the pressure and flame that tempered you into such a strong being, and yet you maintained that indefinable Grace and gentleness…
I remember being told that you had an apprenticeship on a big Oldenburg Stud Farm, and so did not want to move to Canada…we sure are glad you did, though! Raymond, Alberta sugar beet farm was where it all began here, then on to Vancouver and finally Victoria. Working in the Royal Bank as a Teller left you little escape from a devil-may-care deep sea tug sailor by the name of Richard Travers bound and determined to make you his wife. And so he did. On Aug. 16, 1965 you were married, and had us three kids. Chris first, followed quickly by me, Stefanie, and then Colin, every bit as determined as his father, came along as well. The next couple of decades were full! With Pop building houses as fast as you could decorate and landscape them in the South Island and your wish for your own farm finally coming true. With one of the few Commercial Goat Diaries in B.C., you gave us all so much. Some of the fondest memories and deepest friendships have come from your dedication to your dream. Avid supporter of 4-H, exhibitions and fairs (even if you did worry a bit too much sometimes:), raising us kids to have a deep abiding respect for the country life, morals and love of animals. To Chris you gave your crazy work ethic and deep well of care and devotion. To Colin, your dignity, determination and independence helped shape his life.To me, well, sometimes to your dismay, I took your love of animals to the next level, and certainly did with the horses. Your support, patience and interest allowed me to fully realize my hearts desire. Teaching me to never sell out, never give up my soul. Words will never be enough to Thank You for this very, very special link and gift we share….
Chris, together with Vicki, were the ones who brought you your two wonderful Grandchildren, Christie and Todd; the family still close by in the Cowichan Valley
With your opera’s playing in the barn, hanging baskets galore, those long skirts you adored, your grace, elegance and class that all who knew you admired. Iron lady when you needed to be, sensitive and deeply caring for her family and friends. Watching the farm, your incredible flowers and yard bring you such peace and joy right up to the end was such a thrill.
Sitting on the back deck with coffee and you in the early mornings, the scent of all those spring flowers and our easy conversations is one of my most treasured memories…Fresia’s your favorite flower, coffee black with a dab of sugar, your Value Village excursions with Shirley and the dogs, Vivaldi and Giselle, Christmas rolladen….and how am I ever to make your special French Toast?. Our shared love for potato pancakes, you cursing the smell in the house for hours after…:) Oh but they were soooooo good.
Now, we all know you wanted no ceremony, but we just can’t help having a gathering, at home at 1770 Koksilah Rd., on the Saturday, the 26th of March.…It’ll be spring then, and some time will have passed, so we can maybe smile again and remember the joy with a little less of the ache of losing you. Nothing fancy, I promise, but you touched so many lives we would love to share.
- Do not stand at my grave and weep,
- I am not there, I do not sleep.
- I am in a thousand winds that blow,
- I am the softly falling snow.
- I am the gentle showers of rain,
- I am the fields of ripening grain.
- I am in the morning hush,
- I am in the graceful rush
- Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
- I am the starshine of the night.
- I am in the flowers that bloom,
- I am in a quiet room.
- I am in the birds that sing,
- I am in each lovely thing.
- Do not stand at my grave bereft
- I am not there. I have not left. ~ Mary Frye
I have been overwhelmed with all your gentle words shoulders- to- lean on and support for myself and my family over the last few months, weeks and especially days……a Million Thank Yous and Hugs….:) I couldn’t have done it without you…