Happy Birthday Mom


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©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 28 October 2013: 7 years 1 month on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

Today, 28 October, is the birthday of Harry Oppenheimer, Bill Gates, Julia Roberts, Matt Smith and Frank Ocean.

For me, most importantly, though, it is also the birthday of Doris (Stanbridge) Lunnon – my late mother. She was born in Maitland, Cape Town on 28 October 1931. She would have been 82 today.

But she passed away in The Strand, 27 years ago in 1986, after a heart attack at the age of 55.

It would have been great to have you over for dinner tonight, Mom. Maybe we would have even gone out for something special – that’s the way we do things in our Lunnon house nowadays. Maybe you know that!

I’m not sure where you hang out nowadays. Sometimes, I think you are really close by!

At 19 Gordon’s Bay Road, we usually hung out in the kitchen. There weren’t too many opportunities, and certainly not enough money, for us to go and eat out then! You cooked and we washed and dried the dishes and packed them away. Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we argued and occasionally we sang!

Even if I may say so myself, you did a good job in raising the four of us single-handedly and looking after Dad for those long years. You were only 38 when he had his stroke and you were left with that awesome task! June was only four years old! Sometimes we forget that you were a widow at 45!

I’m not sure whether you watch us nowadays – whether you see your handiwork in action.

I’m not sure whether you can see what we do on a big screen somewhere!

Yes, it would have been great to have you over for dinner tonight!

It would have been great just to say thank you. I don’t think we ever did say that. We didn’t think of it in those days and you left us so suddenly. There are so many people nowadays who leave us so quickly and we never take the time to say thank you or all the other things we should say.

I realize now how important that is! But I don’t always remember it too well!

I realise now, as Sean and Phillip start leaving home, just how saddened you must have been when I left home at eighteen and went to America, and to Stellenbosch and Oudtshoorn and Port Elizabeth. I realize now just how much you sacrificed for us and did for us in very difficult and trying times.

They could not have been easy times for you. Yet, I don’t recall ever seeing you crying. I’m sure now that there must have been many lonely nights that you spent crying alone in your bed and wiping your tears on the pillow. I think of you sometimes when I do that, and I wish that we had been given more time together.

Yes, it would have been great to have you over for dinner tonight.

Just to say Happy Birthday and Thank You and all the other things we should be saying!

You would have enjoyed Pera’s dinner. Between the two of you, I’m not sure who would have cooked in the kitchen and who would have done the talking. But the meal would have been excellent which ever way!

It would have been great to share Sean and Phillip with you. You would have been so proud of them. And I guess you would have been sitting with Phillip and his matric books and asking him all those questions, just like you did with me!

And you would have wished him good luck with his exams and waited anxiously for the newspaper with his results, just like you did with me! You even drove me to Cape Town to pick up that Cape Times fresh off the printing press!

It would have been great to have dinner together tonight.   

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3 comments on “Happy Birthday Mom

  1. Hi Ed,
    Thanks for that lovely tribute to your Mom on what would have been her 82nd birthday . And that’s not even really old is it, there are plenty of vibrant & very active people that age still enjoying life. How devastating too, that your Dad was struck down with a stroke when he was so young. Would have been great to have had them with you today. O well, that’s how life goes. Glad to hear that you are managing to still be as busy & active as you are . See you soon at Blue Waters Cafe!
    Deline

  2. I really enjoyed your letter to your Mom. She would be proud of you Ed and love your boys and get along so well with Pera.. I lost my Mom at 64,, which is also far too young.. I am lucky to still have my Dad who is now 86… I woke up yesterday to realize just how bad his eyesight is after the liquid he tried to pour landed on the kitchen dresser and not in the glass and just how frail he has got… Glad I got my wake up call… Although I still see him once a week and send meals to him.I realized perhaps,he would like to have a Sunday lunch with us,much more often ,than I invite him.
    So,Happy birthday Mrs Lunnon. Love. Bev x

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