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“War Horse”

Just came back from a visit across town with the little family. It’s amazing to see my grandson devour Swiss Chalet chicken; talk about an appetite for life. Then Sam and I went on to see “War Horse.” I saw it in London in 2009, and stood up, weeping, at the end – I’d had no idea what to expect and was overwhelmed by its artistry. 3 1/2 years later, here’s the Canadian production, and I was overwhelmed again. It’s a stunning piece of theatre, just about perfect, I’d say – an important story simply and beautifully told, with a goose. I felt I understood something about tigers after seeing “Life of Pi,” and tonight, horses. The power and glory of animals.

More uplifting emails and calls from friends near and far. I emailed some recent photos to one of Mum’s artist friends, who wrote back that she’d done a sketch of Sylvia in 1974, and she looked exactly the same in 2012. My mother had beautiful British skin, pink and plump with few wrinkles. I joked that it was because her face hadn’t encountered the sun until she moved to New York in 1948. Her sister is the same. They’d sit in their hats on the beach in Florida, two pale lilies surrounded by the dark brown and shrivelled.

There’s a low-level ache in my gut that is not budging. Right in there, something heavy and cold. Nothing matters much, except family and friends. Annie came by just to give me a hug. Judy has called a special meditation gathering tomorrow morning, so I’ll receive the support of that group too, who are mostly older than I, and much wiser. And then I’m flying to Ottawa tomorrow afternoon, to see dear Aunt Dorothy, now very much alone, and to stay in Mum’s condo. To see my mother’s life without her in it. To be enveloped by her one last time, her things, her photos and books, her artwork, her taste, her life.

It’s a fine word – enveloped.

The next time I go up will be for her memorial in mid-January, and then we’ll start to pack up her place, distributing furniture and personal belongings to prepare for its sale. And for sure, that’s going to be really, really easy.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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