Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is there life after death?

Listening, as is my wont, to 'Talkback Gardening' on local ABC radio as I drove into town this morning, I heard a woman ring up and ask some staggeringly esoteric question about her espaliered apple tree, which was grafted so it produced three different kinds of apples. I didn't even know you could espalier an apple tree, and listened in fascination as the presenter struggled with a verbal explanation of what was essentially a visual problem.

And I was reminded by this conversation that there is a special little section in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens where they've got a sort of mini-garden of espaliered plants: I've got a dim memory of ripe lemons against a warm brick wall in the sun, a spectrum of golds and butters and terracottas and glossy greens. And I thought 'I really must take Ma to see that some time, she'd love it ... Oh, wait.'

My mum died in 1999.

7 comments:

tigtog said...

My parents, healthy septuagenerians only a few years ago, are starting to get frailer and slower. I'm not looking forward to having moments like that in the not too distant future. I'll miss them dreadfully, as you obviously miss your mother.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Those moments aren't as bad as they sound; in fact, they can be very comforting.

A friend's mother died a few months ago and I rang her recently to see how she was getting through it. She had had the same experience that I did: all through the first and worst stretch, they remain so intensely present that they might as well be still alive.

JahTeh said...

It's been 12 years since my father died and I'm still inclined to tell him to get off my back when I get this niggling in my mind that I should have done something for Mum that I didn't. When she goes I know she'll be looking over my shoulder as well. Even with the cat I'm still looking round to say hello to my grey boy who always slept by the computer.

Anonymous said...

I still remember this wonderful post of yours - in fact remembered it again recently when I was at my aged Ps for dinner...and thought about...

saint
(DAB)

Pavlov's Cat said...

That's lovely, Saint, thank you.

elsewhere said...

This kind of experience in my own life has helped me understand where ancestor worship might have come from.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I think ancestor worship is really interesting. Since I took up amateur genealogy I've found myself calling on the toughness of various ancestors -- mainly the immigrants, both voluntary and involuntary -- to help me through difficult patches. I wish I'd watched that thing on SBS the other night about genetic memory -- sounds right to me.