THE LONG ROAD TO REMEMBERING
LA in my rear view mirror:
I think as I drive
how did this journey become so big?
They say the day is long for the unloved
but all I know of love is buried away...
How can anyone know of such love ?
It is all but story time now ?
I sleep at night and I remember.....
the love so big..it fills my heart daily...
I remember my mums words, " take a care Bonnie girl"...
I drive away from my LA towards the " new place where Our Dearest Lord takes me", and I
meet fear on the journey, and disappointment rides along in the passenger seat.
Tis a Grand Life if you survive it..
I kneel in the pew at church whispering my request for our Lord's forgiveness, I know I will not find it
Forgiveness waits in our hearts ...but we bury it ...because we know we don't deserve it.
All I have is my family and it makes me proud to say I was Grand Mary's daughter too.
Grand Mary's brother Tom, one of my dearest mentors, he made me laugh, seems he near drowned in
Scotland waters, cost him his equilibrium, he walked like a drunkard yet he never drank. My uncle would
say the most outrageous things and I would fall over laughing, as he raised his aie to the sky, " Dam idiots
roam this life Lord", and my mother would not approve, " Bonnie girl don't laugh at his misery". I nodded yet
There was to be an Irish funeral, and everyone arrived, tiny ladies dressed in long dresses of black with
long laced hats meant to cover their grieving faces, I sat with my Grand Mary afraid of the dark images.
They traveled far to bury a family member, everyone stood when they entered the room, and Grand Mary
pulled me up, " girl stand when the family elders enter", I put down my baseball cards and nodded.
I could not make out their faces, and they spoke of Ireland long ago, and I hardly understood their words,
but I was meant to serve the afternoon tea. They elders looked at me through their lace veils, " so this is
Mary's girl, tiny, better get an education girl", I nodded, as one reached out to touch my the curls of my
hair, " we are represented well", and everyone nodded.
We prayed and dined for three days, along with the dead, and no one spoke, I just sat there with my
torn Keds on, and asked quietly to go downstairs, Grand Mary nodded, I slide off the chair, and kissed
Grand Mary, Grandmother Margaret, and my mother, made haste down the steps.
I went down to play with the toys happily and then I saw the photo of a young man with red curly hair
and Irish sky eyes on top of the old television that Grand Mary said, " girl nothing but idiots live there", and
his eyes seem to follow me, I felt cold, isolated and some how afraid? Who was this guy? He had my mother's
eyes? I decided to take the photo up stairs to ask Grand Mary, she would know, if anyone would.
I entered the grieving area carrying the man's photo, and screams erupted from the wake, my Grandmother
Margaret fell to the floor, my mother gasp, " Bonnielynn girl where did you find that?", and Grand Mary's
laughter, well into her afternoon ale. What had I done? Just a photo of some man with a beautiful face and
my mother's eyes? Murmurs came from the crowd in the room, " the Catholics daughter" , my mother crossed
the room, kneeling down, " Bonnie girl, that is my lost brother, he died in the war, you shouldn't have
brought is upstairs". She took the photo from my hands, and apologized in Gaelic to the elder's and her
mother, who was on the floor crying, I thought "great I did it again", when Grand Mary's brother stood up,
holding on to the wall as he walked, " you dam repressed females guarded by tradition you should have told
the child about her Uncle, more your fault than BonnieLynn's, come here girl" as he waved me over to him.
I ran over to my Uncle, and hid behind him, and we both walked towards the casket of the " now in spirit
relative", and when we stood in front of the departed my Uncle said, " you old wank get out of that bed and
let a true man lay down to rest". I started laughing, and my Grandmother Margaret screamed louder. My
mother pulled me away, " Bonnielynn get in the kitchen NOW you are in time out", she sat me firmly on
my little chair, " do not move nor speak to Grand Mary's brother that man is trouble", I nodded and kept
my head down.
A few hours later, a tiny woman with a long black dress and long lace veil came into to see me, she
stood looking at me, and spoke in Gaelic, I said nothing, she spoke English, " you do not speak our
families language ? Tell me girl, who are your family?" I looked up at her, and said, " you are ", she did not
flinch, took off her hat with the long veil, she was magnificent, clear pale skin, dark green eyes as my
sisters and she stood so straight, she pulled up a chair to sit. She then told me of all she knew of her Irish
life, " I give you these memories now Bonnielynn, my gift to you remember them", I looked up at her, she
was timeless beauty and grace. She spoke, "your Grand Mary's brother Tom, was a wildly handsome man
and many women wanted him, many men jealous, he went for a swim one day near drowned and all that
changed. But you know what Bonnielynn? He lost none of his humor and ability to make other's laugh, he
became a better man" I sat just listening, when she pulled my face up, " know your family girl and carry
none the picture of grief into anyone's life again."
Not long after, Grand Mary came to sit by me, " now girl time you learned to think before you act, and
know not the worry, your family loves you", pulling me up, and walking ahead of me into the room of the
grieving, I sat by my dearest mother, she smiled, her sky blue eyes and love for me, made everything right.
It's not the child's place to teach the families stories, and why my mother let the elders tell me rightly,
I can still see them as they entered the room, none more beautiful.
It's an Irish sky:
I saw my home downtown Los Angeles getting smaller in my rear view mirror, and I caught my fear before
it became stronger than me, all I know of life is the place that is getting smaller as I drive away. Alone
has no name and it is big when it rests in your heart.
Give it away:
Once I harden my heart there is no turning back, how do you give again when you gave before?
I ask the Lord, " take this away cause it rains on me everyday" , I remember, the words written
that day, and the hole gets bigger I call it " hurt",
What would my family say to comfort me each day?
I truly do not know but I think, Grand Mary would be laughing, and kiss my face, " Bonnielynn do not worry
People ask me, " is your name Bonnie or Bonnielynn?" is that an option?