Ode to Mumzum

June Sutherland

I could write endless words about how Mumzum’s perfect mix of a fiery and unstoppable nature, intelligence and sharp wit made her the woman that has graced this world so unapologetically. However, what I am particularly thankful for is her undeniable ability to love, and love so fiercely. Sometimes, people in your life, ones who you have been so lucky to have known, shape a part of your identity so clearly you feel you could have never made sense without it. That what they have etched into your body and soul is a undefinable part of themselves, one that is so special and so beautiful you feel that you have an eternal connection to them. I picture so clearly the curve of Mumzum’s hands, an expressive beauty that speaks of a lifetime of writing, exploring, comforting and loving. These two soft, yet strong hands touched the hands of many, with each gentle placement upon another she offered herself in full to whoever needed her love the most.

Blessed be she who is both furious and magnificent.

I think back to our discussions around the round table. White table cloth, mis matched crockery and the illumination of the iPad screen. I’m tired from the walk up the hill, my school socks sticking to my ankles, my arms are stretched out across the table. And she sits there and despite her pain, her tired joints and her own demons she listens with her whole heart. Giving wisdom and guidance to this young woman whom she sees so much of herself in. No ice words thrown at me from the wicked school girls could truly pierce my soul because I had the protection of this woman, always. Adolescence doubts, fears, trauma and insecurity, there was nothing that could not be soothed with the gentle comfort of her kind words and soft hands. She spoke to me like I was the most special person in the world, encouraging me to follow anything I loved. When I started caressing words to paper and discovered the incredible feeling that comes from it, I understood her even more. Oh, no words of encouragement meant more than - “She’s good!” I could happily never hear another word of praise my entire life because when it came from her, a goddess among woman, it was everything.

This is the hardest goodbye of my life so far, however it isn’t goodbye. This is the release of a soul into peace after everything she has given to this world. How selfish of me to feel angry I want to deny that for her, so I will not. I will embroid her memory through me, sharing everything she has given to me with those I know and continue to meet. Because she will be forever. She is a perfect cup of tea, your favourite book, a who dun it, She is the soft afternoon light in Autumn that rests on the leaves of your garden, she is the artwork that moves you, the sentence that guides you and the moment that changes you. She is Mumzum.

Hannah Lawson (Granddaughter)

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