For Ruthie: on Your Non-Birthday!

imageToday is my beautiful, intelligent and talented daughter’s birthday (I’ll spare her blushes and omit her age). She won’t be celebrating it, however, as she leaves for work at 7am before her family are up and running and won’t get home until a rushed dinner, after which she has a parents’ meeting at school!

She does so much for everyone else, helping, advising, often pulling out all the stops with a hand-made present (see my quilted sofa cover below), but resists all attempts by us to arrange something for her.*

image

So this is my ‘surprise’ (for which read ’embarrassing and mortifying shock’ if/when she sees it!) I wrote this poem a long time ago when I was very ill in bed and dependent on a lot of personal help. Ruth was pregnant at the time, but still managed to come long distance to give me moral as well as practical support. She’ll never know how much her visits meant.

It’s not very good in poetic terms (I’m more than a little embarrassed myself to be putting it out in the world!) I was probably as high as a kite on painkillers and anti-depressants at the time (I no longer take them: juicing, herbal remedies and a healthy plant-based diet are far more effective).

I don’t know if she has ever seen it.

Fortunately, if she does read it, I will already be on my health hiatus, having back treatment and a break from my blog. I will. E incommunicado, so hopefully I’ll be able to dodge the fall-out!

For Ruth

My darling Ruth,

I have tried and failed

so many times

to put into words

– in just a few lines –

what your being here

means to me.

*

With your sparkling eyes

and your giggling laugh,

your sense of fun

has lifted me up

when I felt so down

and my future

so difficult to see.

*

You listen, amused,

while I chide your habits

of shopping and spending,

as you wash my hair

and change my bedding

or bring me cups

of warm green tea.

*

I’m amazed, but glad,

that you come back home,

excited and pleased

to just sit and chat

or be chivvied and teased,

and watch tv,

for without you

I couldn’t be me.

****

‘Thank you’ is never enough to express the gratitude I feel towards my son and daughter for all the support they have given and continue to give.  Apologies if this is a bit mushy, K and R – I’m your mother, it’s allowed!

Lights blue touch paper and retires…

*(Update: After much persuasion, she reluctantly agreed to a family Cornish cream tea party at the weekend! Sadly, I and my bad back missed out, but I was given a running commentary via photos and videos throughout the afternoon. The highlight was the two toddlers enjoying their ride in the Morris Minor, giggling the whole way – oh, and the ginormous chocolate orange jaffa cake our son made for my husband who was also celebrating his birthday:

image

(Credit, my son)

The middle orange layer was made with freshly extracted orange juice.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Advertisements

Hand in Hand: A Poem for Father’s Day

image

We skip along hand in hand

I on the inside you on the outside

the birds sing the sun shines

on your little girl and my doting dad

*

We stride along side by side

I on the outside you on the inside

darkness falls the moon shines

on your feminist hippy and my fifties dad

*

We stroll along hands on the pram

I on the inside you on the outside

the birds sing the sun shines

on my newborn son and my proud dad

*

We saunter along,  a stick in your hand

I on the inside you on the outside

The clouds darken the rains fall

on your oldest child and my aging dad

*

I shuffle along hands by my sides

down the edge of the road

the air chills the trees stir

I’m all alone you’re no longer here

*

I miss you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

image

Copyright: Chris McGowan

My Dad Walked Straight and Tall Like A Soldier

image

My dad

walked straight

and tall

like

a soldier

*

My dad

messed about

in boats

like

a sailor

*

My dad

rode cycles

and bikes

like

a youngster

*

We walked

and

played

like

father and daughter

*

Then…

*

Grudgingly

I laughed

at

his antics

and jokes

*

Moodily

I removed

my make-up

and

rings

*

Frustrated

I cried

when

my arguments

failed

*

Guiltily

I accepted

his

money

and aid

*

Then…

*

Happily

we walked

and

laughed

till we cried

*

But…

*

Devastated

I learned

that

he

suddenly

died

*

Gratefully

I thank

his

support of

his daughter

*

My dad

was proud

and

smiled

like a

father

*

image

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Why I call you friend

If you are having a bad day, having doubts about your life, your very existence, need a smile, inspiration or motivation or just plain bored, I recommend you visit Ngobesing Romanus’ blog. He is a journalist, philosopher and poet and writes thought-provoking posts, poems that are equally uplifting and poignant, life-affirming and beautiful.

Source: Why I call you friend