Home' Nova National : October 2011 Contents the hours passed, we worried about her
pain and lack of sleep. Every time a nurse
tried crushing painkillers in jam, Mum
would spit them out like a naughty child.
Eventually it was suggested a doctor
be called to give her an injection of
morphine to ease Mum's pain. But it
would take five hours for the doctor to
arrive. 'Sorry, it's the weekend, everyone's
busy.' Gathering closer round the bed,
we huddled in silence, lost in individual
At last the doctor arrived and
permission was granted for the injection
of morphine. Almost immediately, the
tension in her body eased.
The atmosphere in the room was
vibrant with memories and love for the
spirit of this woman who had touched so
many people's lives during the course
of her own, all of us humbled at being in
the presence of a beautiful soul in a state
When my mother stopped breathing,
the thoughts that had been spinning
round inside my head were replaced
by words to a song made famous a long
time ago by Vera Lynne.
'We'll meet again,
Don't know where, don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again one
The room seemed to expand way
beyond the boundaries of the physical.
We all felt elevated in spirit, vibrating at
some higher frequency. It was as if by
experiencing reverence for the life of
my mother, we had entered a spiritual
relationship with the whole world -- and
for a moment, the one beyond.
20 © NOVA OCTOBER 2011
from previous page
I was about four years of age,
my sister Christine, three. Dad was
superintendent at the South Melbourne
Presbyterian Mission in Dorcas Street and
Mum was a Sunday School teacher. In
those days South Melbourne was a slum
Every Christmas, Mum and Dad
canvassed local businesses for donations
and every year they were presented
with tin airplanes for the boys, and dolls
for the girls. Mum would sit up until
midnight for weeks, sewing clothes for
the dolls on her Singer treadle sewing
machine. She'd even make tiny shoes
from scraps of soft leather donated by
Goodchild's Shoe Factory. She sewed
floral dresses for every little girl who
attended kindergarten. When the day
of the Christmas party arrived, dresses,
airplanes and dolls were distributed
by a chuckling Father Christmas (Dad)
and Mum would lead the singing as we
stood in a circle, clutching flickering
candles and singing "Jesus Bids Us Shine
with a Pure Clear Light".
The following day, Saturday, the rest
of the family joined my bedside vigil. We
played the music of Mozart although
we knew Mum could no longer hear. As
'Mum would sit up until
midnight for weeks, sewing
clothes for the dolls on
her Singer treadle sewing
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