Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remembering Mom: Mary Jane Teresa Ball Geraghty

Today, on the 3rd anniversary of her death, I fondly remember our mother, 
Mary Jane Teresa Ball Geraghty,

Long before marriage and family,
my mom Mary,
a young woman of 18 years,
in evening dress, 1949.
They say time heals all wounds. It is the lie we tell ourselves so we can learn to live with loss. With the passage of time, I have come to believe grief becomes a precious wound which is better nurtured, not covered up and forgotten.

Yes, life goes on, but it is okay to tend to the wound, not to wallow in it, but to accept that it is still there:
To recognize every word that should have been spoken, but never was,
To recollect every embrace released too soon,
To call to mind each burning question that was left unasked,
To embrace all that I loved about my mother, and to remember each footstep followed, while acknowledging different paths taken.
To remember Mom in the wholeness of her being, as the most splendid sort of chameleon, lovingly transforming herself, so she was able to be different things for different people.

Although I am sometimes visited by the sound of Dad's voice, it breaks my heart that Mom's is now lost to me. I miss the sound of my mother's voice, and long to hear her call me 'Jenn', as only she could do. Daily, I struggle to remember each intonation, the sounds of happiness playing on her words, even the sounds of sadness too, and the timbre of her laughter. I still find myself irrationally longing for more conversations with my mother, more of everything that I can no longer possibly have.

There are brief moments when sounds and images do flash across my mind:

Mom gently dabbing perfume at the pulse points of her wrists.
The click of her heels on the kitchen floor as she rushed out to work.
Mom beautifully dancing with Dad, so happy at my brother's wedding.
The tapping sounds of wooden spoons as Mom mixed together the ingredients for her Christmas puddings.
The fragrance of bread we used to bake together in the summertime, so very long ago, set on the window sill to cool.
Mom wearing a deeply serious expression on her face, as she bowed her head in prayer at church, while somehow managing to cast a smile and a wink my way, when someone showed up in an odd looking hat.

The passage of time makes these small recollections ever more precious.



  1. It took me awhile to remember my mother's voice also, but as the time passed, it returned to me.. A lovely tribute to your Mum, it is the day to day things that we miss the most. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, nor a time limit.. Treasured memories remain always...

    1. Chris, thanks very much for your lovely comments. It is so true, as you say, that it is the 'day to day' things we most miss.


  2. Jenn, a lovely tribute to your beautiful mum. You never stop missing loved ones when they're gone, especially the ordinary things you did with them.

    1. Charlotte, thanks very much for your lovely comments. It is so true, as you say, that it's the ordinary things we miss. I used to love going clothes shopping with my mom. I remember one occasion in particular when we couldn't find anything we liked in a shop and we started trying on the most ridiculous clothing. We were laughing so loud in the dressing room that there were a few tsk tsks. The sales associates were probably quite happy when we left. A great memory of an ordinary day!


  3. You have such lovely precious memories of your mum. She must be so proud of you !

    1. Pauleen, thanks very much for your lovely comments. Memories of my mum are very precious to me, and talking to people today have brought back even more of them, especially the funny moments.



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Cheers, Jennifer

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