For My Son


Today is the 21st anniversary
Of your 21st birthday
You didn’t want a party
You wanted dinner at home
“Just us three”
Oysters
With French Champagne
Beef Wellington
With a 21 year old bottle of Cab Sav
Home made sorbet with raspberries
And to finish
Cheese and muscatels
With a 21 year old Vintage Port
You played Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
While dad decanted the red and the port
He poured them through a coffee filter
Because they’d thrown a sediment
You and dad stood behind me with a blanket
While I flambéed the eye fillet
Because I once set fire to the cafe curtains…

We’d just finished our oysters
When there was a knock at the door
Dad answered it to be greeted by
A Giant Chicken
Heidi had organised a singing telegram for you
I don’t know who was more surprised
Us or the chicken
He was expecting a larger gathering
But we got into the spirit of the thing
By the end my tummy was aching with laughter
I’ll never forget you sitting on the dining room floor
Singing with your very own Giant Chicken
As he was leaving he told us
Ours was the smallest gathering he’d attended
But one of the most fun
It was a wonderful evening
Lots of laughter
Loving reminiscence
And music
Beautiful music
You took requests between courses
After dinner you sipped your port
And improvised
I love how you could lose yourself
Once your fingers touched the keyboard

Tomorrow I’m letting go of your piano
It’s going to your cousin Molly
You never got to meet Molly
But you’d love her
She was born 40 years old
You’d love each of the next generation
Byron draws
Loves music
I gave him your cashmere jacket
I thought he’d wear it but
He hung it like a piece of art
That was when I knew
I’d found a home for your Doski blazer
He also has your drawing equipment
Young Quinn loves sport and computers
He’s also a quiet sensitive boy
I’m getting him an iPad
Because your computer equipment
Is so outdated
You’d be amazed by the strides in technology
In the 15 years since your death
And wee Thomas
Ellen’s little chap
Ah you’d love him so
Each time I look at his photo
I want to show you
I’m giving Thomas your stuffed Digbee
It’s 40 years old and well loved
But I want him to have something that was yours
We’ll also get him something new
Something a 2 year old would love

Dad died 10 years after you
Suddenly
Quietly
Holding my hand
I wish I could have held your hand
I miss you every day
Happy Birthday my darling son

Tricia 18/9/2014

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on September 18, 2014, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories and the celebration of their lives.

    • Charles, this piece was a joy to write. Once I started the memories poured out of me onto the page. For me, they are as delicious as the food and wine, and as warm and comforting as the love we shared.

  2. Sometimes there are no words in reply to something such as this, Tricia or at least no ‘right’ words. Your words, though, in this beautiful reflection and tribute, are a statement of such a deep love and gratitude for your son. I sniled at your small gathering for the giant chicken, what a wonderful thought on the part of the giver. Thinking about you today and always and love you very much my lovely friend. ❤️ Xxxx

  3. Heart breaking! Take care Tricia

  4. Beautiful, Tricia. I’m crying …

  5. Such a beautiful recollection retold here Tricia. An honourable memory of that time. Sending you hugs and love xx

    • Dear Peter, it was such a special night. I wrote this using the Freefall method and decided not to change a thing. Before I began I was so sad, but sometimes when I go fearward, I end up in a place of peace.
      Hugs and love back to you my friend. xx

  6. A wonderful memory… again, I’m admiring your strong spirit.

  7. I feel so fortunate to have accepted the invitation to be with you during such a wonderful remembrance–I loved the details, Tricia! What a grand celebration you enjoyed together and I really admire that you’ve been finding a way to share the things that Ken loved best, his piano, his drawing equipment, and special items of clothing, to loved ones who will cherish them. What a brilliant thing to do. I really enjoyed reading this, my friend. I do trust that remembering this special birthday was a sweet, sweet memory for you. I think it must have been so. oxo

    • Dear Debra, I’m so sorry that I’ve taken so long to respond to you. I have been reading your wonderful blog posts. Your posts re your recent trip brought back many wonderful memories for me. I’d become lost in times past after reading each of them. The drive from San Francisco to LA (and sometimes the reverse) was a favourite of ours, one we tried to make with each visit to the US.

      The coast is beautiful, and there are so many lovely little towns to be found if one takes the occasional detour. We always stayed at Ragged Point Inn, and watched it change and grow over the years. Debra, how I wish you and I could sit and share stories of the places and people we love. But If that can’t be, I’m so grateful that we met on wordpress.

      I’m also grateful that, via my words, you were able to be a guest at Ken’s 21st. And yes my friend it is a “sweet, sweet memory”, one I’ll treasure always.

      Take care
      Much love
      Tricia. xxx

  8. i read every word with tears rolling down. you are a great mother. bright blessings!

  9. You continue to blow my mind with your amazing writing. I am very proud of you. Your talent and your heart felt words blow me away. Words are not enough to express the feelings I’m trying to share. Love you sis x

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