A Mothers’ Day Memory
My Mum, Vi Regan, died in 2001, and I was privileged to spend her last six weeks with her in the UK. She lived at home for three of those weeks, and in a hospice for her last three weeks. She had a sense of humor throughout, which made it easier on me, and everyone else around. A typical demand from Vi while she was still at home went something like this:
“Gary, make me a cup of tea, please. In that little cup that Nan liked. And I’ll have some biscuits, too, please. Just two biscuits. And while you’re boiling the kettle you could make me a nice hot water bottle, too, for my feet. Not too hot, though. That last hot water bottle nearly burned my toes off. And hurry up, would you? I’m dying, you know . . .”
“I know you’re a demanding old woman,” I’d tell her, and we’d smile together.
Vi died peacefully in the hospice on November 16, 2001.
A week or so later I opened her will. She had no money, but she owned her house, and as the only child, she left that to me. No surprises in the will. Except for an old photograph that she’d put in there. It was a signed picture of Vera Lynn.
Vera Lynn was a famed British singer who, during WWII, toured the world giving concerts for British forces overseas, and becoming known as “The Forces’ Sweetheart.” She was known for patriotic songs such as The White Cliffs of Dover, We’ll Meet Again, and There’ll Always be an England, and her popularity continued after the war when she devoted time to raising money for charity.
I’d seen this picture before, though I can’t remember how Vi had gotten it in the first place. Still, though, seeing it made me smile. It was typical of Vi to put this into her will, knowing that it would take some of my sadness away after she’d gone.
About three years later, on a hot summer’s day, I was hanging out on the deck listening to The Wall, Pink Floyd’s masterpiece about a rock singer, born during WWII, going through a breakdown. There’s a track on the album called “Vera,” and it centers on Vera Lynn’s signature song, “We’ll Meet Again.”
“Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?
Remember how she said that
We would meet again
Some sunny day?”
When that track played I suddenly understood why Vi had put the picture of Vera Lynn into her will. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
“We’ll Meet Again,” Vi was telling me.
It was a message from her.
A message from Heaven
We will indeed meet again, Vi. We will, indeed.