Mother Ormiston

“She’s a world traveller and I won’t go to Sooke,” says Dad.

Mum is going to England again; this time, she’s helping a dear cousin recover from knee surgery.

“When we’re down below,” says Dad pointing to hell, “she’ll be raising funds to install air conditioning.”

Admiration has overtaken his past hurts.

“It would’ve been our golden wedding anniversary next year if we’d stayed married,” Mum told Dad recently.

“Let’s throw a party anyways!” he replied.

I call Mum to wish her a good trip and a safe flight.

“I kissed your father goodbye this time,” Mum says over the phone, “He was laying back in his chair so I was practically in his lap by the time our lips touched.”

We laugh.


Another weekend, another night spent sitting with Dad.

“Jerry called to tell me he’s checked into a nursing home,” says Dad. Jerry is an old friend I don’t think I’ve met.

“If he dies, I’m to be notified,” says Dad.

There’s a pause.

“Shoot me when I get like that,” he says, “No, hire your mother so that she has to change my diapers, and have her pat my bum.”

He laughs as I smile and shake my head.

I suspect he’s a little hurt she’s left again. To Hawaii in November, Cuba in January and England in February, his ex-wife is a busy woman.

“I don’t owe anyone. I never did. I paid cash and built the whole damn thing,” says Dad about the house, “Your mother got upset because I never did anything until I had time to do it.”

A few hurt feelings still remain.


“We’ve got a good family,” says Dad, listing off various grandchildren.

“Except for the one that never sticks around,” he says referring to Mum.

Time passes.

“Mother Ormiston,” says Dad commenting on how Mum will help anyone, a trait he respects.

“You can’t get mad at her with all she does,” he says.

No, you can’t.

An email arrives from England.

It reads:

“You don’t give me any news!!! How did yesterday go at the funeral? How is Dad? Are you having dinner with him tonight?

Do you miss me? I miss you!

Love, M”

We miss you, Mum. Dad and I miss you very much!




About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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4 Responses to Mother Ormiston

  1. I just loved every word of this. I admire the humour in Your family. But most of all I love the unusual constellation of love and family that when given space and time can unfold into something unusual and beautiful.

  2. lorraine says:

    so much work but you’re receiving so much!! xo

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