Got back a while ago from singing at Mass. It went alright. Vexilla Regis could have gone better. The organist and I were out of sync, as we had never played it together before. Perhaps I should have just gone solo.
I find I'm missing mother a little more than usual today. It was nice out, earlier. This is the sort of day I'd hope for when I had rented a car. I'd head out and get mother for some trip I had planned. I'd come through the door and say something like "Hey, Mom. Get in the car." I'd leave my brother a note that would go something like "I've got mother. If you ever want to see her again..." And then we would go somewhere or other. Old Churches. Waterfalls. Old mills. Barns- she had a thing for barns. Can't really explain it. Some historical sites such as battlefields from the War of 1812. Canada's oldest known maple tree. Point Pelee during the bird migration. Sometimes we just drove aimlessly through the countryside. That sort of thing.
She liked to go places she had never been before. At her age, this could be something of a challenge, but, fortunately, I had my dad working in my favour. The old man- bless him- took us all on one trip every year to Bobcaygeon, where we would fish. He drove the same route every time. Mom didn't complain, but at the same time she would have enjoyed some variety- even if was merely going a different way. But the old man couldn't see any sense in taking a way that was longer or took more time. It was just a delay keeping us from getting out lines into the water. I took her on the back roads, and even to some places in Dad's hometown. Mom would say to me: "You know, your father never took me here." I'd feel a mixture of guilt and amusement because, even though the man was twenty years in the ground, I still somehow managed to get him into trouble with mother.
Mom had a tremendous capacity for yakking. Our conversations on those drives were often one sided-it could be hard to get a word in edgewise. Sometimes it could drive one to distraction, but I never minded much. We almost lost mom eleven years before she died, when she decided not to yak at us about some odd symptoms she had until it was almost too late, and so every day after that was a gift. Listening to her yak merely meant she was alive, and I was happy to hear it.
Some people thought I was doing it all for her, but truth be told, I was somewhat selfish. I enjoyed those trips as much as she did. I would use her as an excuse to go somewhere I wanted to go. I'd say to her:
Me: Hey Mom, want to go to Montreal?
Her: Well, I
Me: Great! Get in the car. I'll leave my brother a note.
I knew our time would draw to a close eventually, and I didn't want to be faced with regret that I didn't do enough with her when I had the time. I still regret that I can't do it anymore.