- The Pandemic and Dads passing meant that Mom would be alone in our old family house for the foreseeable future. There would be an overwhelming amount to do as it wasn’t just the house that she was suddenly left with but also the Antique shop, the gardens.
My Sister and I were grateful that Mom had kind neighbours. We had decided that Mom living in the house she knew, on the property she was familiar with, would be safer then living in an unfamiliar apartment in an unfamiliar city during lockdown
We took this opportunity to explore the back roads and towns within an hours drive of Cavan, Mom would sometimes suggest we get a map; she didn’t realize that we could use our “machines” aka smartphones and search a route. She hasn’t comprehended the phone, what a text is, what an email is. It’s nice to see the joy and wonderment that she expresses at the thought of such a device, her appreciation and commitment to never own one.
Travelling through areas we had never seen before, or not seen for decades, was both exciting and an indication of our own mortality, like that huge tree we once swung on, now a stump, a slowly dissolving headstone in the ground. It was an exploration of a tiny section of the provinces settler history. When we travelled just north of Peterborough we could more easily imagine what the land looked like before the great invasion. Mom would literally gasp at the beauty of a dense forest and wild flowers along the road; I believe that to her, nature is paradise.
So now we drive, we see beauty all around us, in the fields, forests, and in the old barns in-between, leaning in the wind with their long stories written in that weathered wood. We learn about family history, why we are who we are now, we help fill in the missing words when Mom gets frustrated. We learn patience and most of all we learn to see the things we’ve seen a hundred times before, for the first time again.