The Last of the Jam…

All of a sudden I look and it’s the end of May.

The year so far has brought our family joys, some sorrow and an all too familiar tussling of emotions.

Pretty normal stuff I’d say in a brood raised as my way-ers.

As a daughter I often find myself reflecting on how, or if, I ever fitted into my parents’  lives?

Did I turn out the way they would have wanted?

Mum certainly made it clear to me that my father was her number one…at least I think that’s how it worked.  Maybe it was the other way around, my father may have made it clear that he wanted her to be number one and she made sure she was.


Whatever the reason, environment, culture, personality, society or peer pressure, I discovered early on that their world did not revolve around me,

and I could do nothing about it.

I learned that the only person I had control over was myself…

…no amount of grumbling or cajoling would alter the inevitable…

Their word was final.

I felt like the last of the jam left at the bottom of the jar.

Determined I found joy in the sadness, adventure in the confusion, contentment in the inevitable,

I savored the sweetness of the last of the jam not wanting to become a bitter youngster.

I would daydream that my father occasionally felt lost and empty…when we parted,

first for boarding school,

then for Guernsey

and finally for America,

and that my mother had waves of nostalgia when she saw young families at church or out shopping or walking their dogs along the cliffs.

Perhaps they were always ready to snap that final picture at the end of a holiday,

It meant they could get back to their lives together.  Without me.

Or perhaps they didn’t dwell on what had been

because they were blissfully happy with what was

just the two of them, holding hands, complete.


Without me.

When I became a Mum there were no boarding school send-off’s in my house.

I homeschooled and enjoyed every phase of family life…

My blue-eyed-cowboy had started the completion of me

and my children finished it.

The emptying of the nest as the my young ones went off into the world, degrees in hand, was gradual and toughened me up a bit so I didn’t tear up when I saw toddlers trotting animatedly next to their mothers in the park, or teens draping their arms casually over their father’s shoulders just to show how tall they were becoming, or adult daughters out with their Mum on an all girls shopping spree.

Although I cook for only two these days my phone and computer help to keep the treasured connection.

I virtually eat breakfast or drive to work with my film-maker son in California,

I participate in board meetings and picnics in the park with my bird-training son and his wife in Dallas,

I enjoy talking to my Nanny daughter’s charge each day wherever she happens to be,

I walk and talk with Daughts who lives with her husband on the Footlights property.

I catch up with their news,

exchange world-views,

share passions,

rejoice over their successes.

We grieve together over their disappointments,

and we respect each other’s silences.


This year my childhood feelings caught me by surprise,

I was left like the last of the jam and instinctively I searched for joy in the sadness, adventure in the confusion, contentment in the inevitable.

I slip my hand into God’s,

bask in  my blue-eyed cowboy’s love and

re-read this month’s card from my filmmaker son,


“A great Mum turns it off first!”

“You’re the best Mum EVER!” he tells me.

I walk and talk with Daughts and take a trip to the new Buc-ees just up the road.


I remember my bird-training son’s excited voice when he announced,

“You’re going to be a grandmother, Mama Viv!”

I savor the sweetness of the last of the jam and welcome a blessed June.

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2019-06-14 22:40:50 Reply

You are a great Mum and wife!

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