Mother Mary

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. 

There are days that my dad and I have everything in common, from our blue eyes, to the fact that he lost his father when he was young, and I am losing mine. My father sat in a private school in Nova Scotia and was called to the headmaster’s office where they told him that his father had died; I sat in a doctor’s office last December as the doctor kept repeating that it was a “difficult diagnosis.” A nurse I never met before hugged me and she smelled like someone’s mom; I can still picture her shoes. When my dad found out his father had died, he asked to go back to class. When I sat in that doctor’s office learning my father would die, my dad waved a finger at me not to cry.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. 

One summer, when I was a teenager, we went to Vermont and I remember being on Jim’s childhood best friend’s boat and looking at Jim, smiling in his sunglasses, with the wind in his hair and thinking that this was what happy looked like. He looked like a Kennedy and I wondered why we didn’t own a boat. Now, Jim’s childhood friend, Gary, sits across the table from me at dinner and remembers the day that Jim left class and came back after talking to the headmaster.

Janet, his wife, remembers when Jim picked a bully up and hung him over the stairs for picking on a smaller kid, and Jim encouraged him to “pick on someone your own size.”

When I get home, Ab remembers a double date where they all had too much to drink and stole glasses from a restaurant for each of the cocktails they ordered, in hopes of furnishing a new apartment’s empty glassware cabinet.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. 

Jim talked mostly of Gary’s mum growing up; he would say that she was the nicest woman he ever met, a surrogate mother. Jim lived far from home and often times found himself staying at Gary’s house instead of his own. He would tell stories about how Mother Mary, Gary’s mum, would buy the whole house new jeans before the school year and the summer he stayed there she bought his jeans too; she sewed his name into them, just like she did for each of her own children. I picture a messy embroidered cursive of his name.

Jim tells me about when he played hockey; he played for the Windsor Royals and one night somebody pulled at his jersey and pointed to his last name embroidered on the back, with two older brothers and a reputation he thought he was going to get into a fight, but instead the guy asked if he was a “LeCain,” to which he said yes. The guy then told him that he knew his father and if he was half of the man he was he was going to be okay, Jim is telling me I am going to be okay.

For one of their hockey games, Gary’s dad, a man they called Doc, rented a limo and drove them, but as always, he was running late, on the way out the door he grabbed a pork chop and ate it, while Jim and Gary sat in the back laughing with their gear. Jim smiles now thinking of it.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. 

When Gary and Janet come to see Jim they talk about their childhood. I work, and meet them after they’re done visiting my parents, for dinner.

When I walk into the restaurant I make eye contact with a server, who asks me if I need help, I tell him that I’m supposed to meet someone in the hotel’s restaurant’s pub and he tells me he knows who I’m looking for. I follow him.

“Your parents are waiting for you,” he says.

“They’re not,” I begin to tell him they’re not my parents, but I stop myself, “Did they wait long?” I ask. He doesn’t know that I will never sit in a restaurant with my mom and dad again. So, tonight I pretend that I am meeting my parents for dinner after work and that all is normal and right with the world, and for a moment all does feel normal and right with the world.

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, let it be…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maude Wilson says:

    Dear Stephanie: Just read your blog and wish I knew ” words of wisdom” to say to you but just keep all the good memories you have had with him and let him know how much you love him. The memories will be there always for you . He may even enjoy looking back at some with you now. Love you, thinking of you and your Mum. Hope she is holding up ok. You are a strong young woman and will get through this. I remember when my step father died when I was eighteen and as he was the only father I ever knew , it was rough but Mum needed me to be strong and I guess having a purpose got me through it. Take care of yourself. Love, Nanny xo

    Sent from my iPad


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