Thursday, May 27, 2010
My mother died suddenly from a heart attack aged 64. The arteries leading to her heart were completely blocked. I remember as a child first reading on a cigarette packet that smoking was a health hazard, in those days I used to get her cigarettes and I dramatically announced it was the last packet; I would ever buy.
With her cigarette came black coffee…her lifelong love of coffee inspired me to use the Turkish proverb about it “ black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love…” the words seem to reflect her bittersweet life.
While working on my hankie, I realized that I was remembering not only my mother’s life but also my grandmother and great-grandmother’s. The three women were very close and had much in common.
All were Catholic, had very little but loved and cared for their families taking great pride in cooking, sewing and cleaning. They each had unfulfilled marriages and dreamed of a better life for their children.
I have wooden cooking spoons; buttons and embroidery passed down from one mother to the next and treasure these domestic icons.
The buttons sewn at the top come from this collection, the fabric buttons were made for doona covers
so they wouldn’t snap in the wringing press when washed. Here they symbolise snowflakes falling on my mother at her mother’s funeral in Prague.
The coffee spoon features the Glasshouse Mountains, a view my mother enjoyed from her garden.