When Mum died I found great comfort in the quote that grief is love with no place to go. So true, I cried.
‘She’s still with you, mate,’ Anthony would say.
What did he mean?
She’s f&%#ing not though, is she? She’s in the ground.
That’s what I wanted to say.
But this week, I figured out what he meant. And Einstein, too, was onto something when he told us that energy can’t be created or destroyed; it just changes form.
Mum loved sewing. Sewing was one of the things we did together, coming up with new ideas and sharing our love of creating something from nothing. For years, we set up a stall at markets all over the state. We spent lots of time, made some money and many memories.
I haven’t sewn since Mum died. Actually that’s a lie. I got out the sewing machine to help Elsie’s class make eye pillows for yoga. But it made me sad and I put the machine back in the cupboard.
But ten days ago when masks became mandatory in Victoria, I took out Mum’s old machine and whipped up a mask for Elsie to wear to school. And I found that it didn’t make me sad at all. Creating something from nothing still made me happy.
I took a photo of myself wearing Elsie’s mask and posted it on Facebook and Instagram, saying that if I sold any masks, I’d donate all of the money to brain cancer research.
I couldn’t do it with Mum, but I could do it for her.
As mask orders came in, I was spurred on. The love that I felt had no place to go did indeed have a place.
I broke when Mum died. But I broke open. Not only do I still have all of the love for her, but all that she taught me and all of the love that she gave me is now also part of who I am.
People were generous when I posted the mask photo. They’ve ordered and I’ve made 273 masks.
At $15 each, that’s $4,095.
Some people rounded up their purchase.
Others said they were right for masks but wanted to donate to my cause.
Many have been touched by brain cancer.
And that’s why, together, we’ve raised $4,844.
I’ve just donated it all to Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer.
Thank you to each and every one of you (I borrowed that from Dan, it’s not something I’d say…).