Virtual Conversations

Too little time to gather each memento,

Tokens only, second best, it’s true,

Each a valued part of all our yesterdays,

Virtual realities of you.

Here’s the service, china that you cherished,

Inside the case of glass so worldly old,

Incongruous among the modern,

Patina still polished, burnished gold.

There’s blue Willow Pattern, studied paintwork,

Aladdin’s lamp that took your fancy too,

Books on every subject that you purchased,

Read, shared, discussed, in nights where me and you

Sat up in the small hours drinking whisky,

Passion flying in between debate,

Nothing ever vetoed in discussion,

We didn’t know then time was running late.

Time, the bastard child of loving parents,

Belonging nowhere, orphaned while we muse

Each and every small memento looked on,

I’d swap them all for one more night with you.

My mother died five years ago, it’s not the anniversary of her death but she’s been in my mind a lot this while back. Dreams of her, conversations in the dreams, looks I know so well. Whenever this occurs I know there’s something I need to listen to, something I would have discussed with her, something that’s eluding my full understanding or something I’m ignoring. She was good on the somethings and the everythings. Nothing ever vetoed. Need to listen now. Or she’ll skelp my arse! And I’d welcome it for one more real conversation.



20 thoughts on “Virtual Conversations”

    1. So I’m finding out, Paul. I find it really touching when my eldest daughter recounts stories from the hospital tellng of patients with dementia crying for their mums, other family members mistaken for one who is never forgotten. Like the umbilical cord has never really detached, earliest memories evoked sharper than their current reality. Touching and very sad. The circle.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. The conversations continue. I’m just not always so great at listening. Parents and kids the world over. :/
      I’m going to haunt my own brood I’ve decided! Got to keep the afterlife interesting. 😉 x

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  1. Oh, how I immediately related to this Anne-Marie. It could have been meant to express how I felt when I lost my grandmother. I have many of her things, similar to those you describe here, precious mementos her mother left her and she passed down to me. I feel such a strong connection to her and rarely does a day go by when I don’t think about and miss her. Wishing I could have just one more day, one final conversation to tell her how much I loved her. This truly made me cry. Your mum is still with you. I could feel her in this piece, myself. ❤

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    1. I hear you, Beth. I don’t take a lot of photos, never have, but I keep souvenirs of places and people. Seeing them or handling them transports me to times and places and people. The glass cabinet was my gran’s, my mum’s mum who was also my godmother. She was born in 1888!
      It blows my mind sometimes to think that I knew and loved someone from that time albeit she died when I was in my early teens. I can still recall occasions at her house as sharply as if they were yesterday and her history was retold to me so many times by my mum over the years that I feel a very strong connection to her too.
      Passing mementoes and memories along is one of the best things we can do for our children I think to keep them grounded and attached to history marking the present. Family trees fascinate me. Family fascinates me! All those little links. But I do wish I’d taken more photos. Some are exceedingly scarce. I should take a leaf from your book, Beth.x

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  2. Feeling this so strongly, A-M. As we continue to sort through things at Dad’s and come across all those things that were Mum’s- and having to decide what to keep and what to let go… make the memories and the enduring sense of loss seem all that much more present.

    I hold lengthy conversations in my head with them both pretty frequently. Trying to see things from their perspective often helps me sort through the rough stuff. I’m trying to hold on to that as part of the legacy they left me with, but sometimes I truly just wish we could have that one last face-to-face conversation.

    So lovely. As always. xo

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    1. Sorting through and discarding anything is so difficult, Cole. My brothers and sisters and I did this immediately following my mum’s death but could not decide on so many things what to keep and what to let go. Everyone selected a few things to keep as mementoes and the rest was brought to my house for my sister and I to go through at our leisure. We tried to go through her writings and ended up in tears,deciding to leave it to a later date. I still have all those papers in my cellar and the date hasn’t come round yet. I can’t bring myself to throw away her thoughts and I can’t bring myself to read them so I guess they’ll stay there a while yet. It gives me food for thought on my own collecton of papers, I can tell you. It’s such a task for anyone. No wonder cellars and attics contain the undisturbed past. I wish you well in the sorting, Cole and long life to the conversations.x

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  3. This is elegantly written, Anne-Marie, capturing a sense of both melancholy and also one of love (and the loved) never really leaving us. An accessible poem that will resonate with many.

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  4. Good heavens, your poetry struck to the very core of me. It resonated on so many levels, but mostly from the thematic point of holding on to the ungraspable. Those intangible moments are the real priceless relics, and we cling to them like liferafts, refusing to release them.
    You also put into words the same emotions I have about my own mother. We are lucky to have and to have had these women in our life. And clearly your mother was fortunate to have had you in hers.
    And many thanks for the beautiful words on my post today, Anne-Marie. You seemed to have nailed the issue that distressed me most–the sadness and loss of the other parents. My heart breaks for them. Your daughter sounds a most nurturing soul. I wonder where she gets that trait from?

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    1. I thought the same of your daughter, Shelley, as you descrbed her Spring break, that need to nurture and create being evident in how she she chose to use her time. And your allowing her to work through in her own way what must have been weighing heavily with both of you. We can only be there and allow. I hope I do that for my children and I know my mum did it for me. I guess having had such a close relationship, being able to bounce thoughts off each other and discuss everything, it’s natural to miss that most at times. The one good thing is that we knew each other so well I can practically tell what she would have advised or said in most circumstances.
      I’m glad you had a similar relationship with your mum and, by the sounds of things, you have with your daughter too.
      The parents of those children lost must be heartbroken wondering what else they could have done. It doesn’t bear thinking about, a life sentence of regret.
      Thank you for visiting, Shelley and for your understanding.x


  5. You ARE having a real conversation. And she is always there, and thankfully your awareness is such that you can ‘hear’ that connection. It is a beautiful thing to be able to touch the love of another, as close as ever, even if seemingly far.
    About the only thing I can help you with is when something comes across it is more likely to be in some form of symbolism. And I mean in how it means to you, an action, colour, feeling etc.
    You’ll connect momus, just as you always have, from your heart.
    Thank you for sharing something so beautiful within, I feel blessed by that sharing and the meaning that it has for you. Mark xo

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    1. I have no doubts of her proximity, Mark. And of my dad’s. I could tell you stories of connection and communication where coincidence would have to be stretched to unbelievable extremes to explain. I might one day. And symbols feature highly. Signs and symbols. Not so easily dismissed when their meanings and appearance strike close to home. Thank you, Mark. It’s always good to get reassurance that I’m not a loon! 😉 x

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  6. You know how people say you carry your loved ones with you? Well, it’s true. You share your mom’s DNA, so she’s always there with you. Not far away at all. You carry her with you all the time. I know it isn’t the same but some days it helps me knowing that I and my sons carry pieces of my dad with us, inside us, genetically. It’s a sort of poetry in itself.

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