Loving Memory

This poem was recorded on a CD made by the Spring Tides poetry group in Aberdeen.  It was inspired by Mrs. Mary MacDonald Morrison of Aberdeen (1908-2003).

Inspired Gossip CD, Spring Tides poetry group, 2003. Cover photo by Roger Barnett.

Loving Memory by Christine Laennec

Today the world
is a world without Mary
for the first time in a long time.

She was born when the Avenue
was on the edge of town,
when children dared not misbehave,
when every Sunday
the trams were full of believers.

It was not so long ago
she walked on summer evenings
down car-less streets
to dance at the Beach Ballroom
and stroll along the long crescent of sand
unscarred by groynes.

By the time I met her
all the iron railings had gone.
Her elegant figure
put the unkempt gardens to shame,
every other parlour window
full of beer bottles and plastic aliens.

But her life was anchored
By the skies beyond the trees
By her faith
By her love
of that which never changes.

Although she had been left behind,
the past was just a breath away
from evening prayers by the table,
Mother and Father in the next room.
“I am never alone,” she told me,
and it was true.

Yesterday morning she gave thanks
For the coming day.
By two o’clock, the room
where she was born,
where she heard whispering
as her mother died,
was filled with police and paramedics.
And in the ambulance,
her eyes shut, her hand gripping mine,
we both knew
she had left that place
for the last time.

Today the world is the poorer
by one sweet soul.
But Heaven is the richer,
for Mary is truly home.

© Christine Laennec 2003.

Responses

  1. Oh Christine that is so, so beautifully moving. I have tears in my eyes and feel sad that I never met Mary. You could not have shown Mary any more love and respect than with these words.

    Thank you,
    Vickixx

    • Vicki, thank you again for your very kind words. She was a remarkable woman – although I think there are and have been many, many remarkable women in this world. I think of her very often to this day, eight years after she passed on. I always remember shortly after she died, speaking to our minister. I said to him, “Mary was always thanking me for getting her groceries and things like that. She was always saying that she was in our debt – but I always felt that she was the one who gave *me* so much, and that I was the one in her debt.” He replied: “That sounds to me like a good definition of friendship.”

  2. Oh this moved me to tears, i had a son go to be with God in 1996,youre words are so eloquent.

    • Karen, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. As you say, he is with God now. I’m glad if this poem put into words some small part of what you must feel. X


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