A Mother Died To-Day Chester (Sonny) Anderson Ferris

Healing Roses

But no newspaper headline will say

No copy will read

Of her Life full of Deeds

Of her five children that lived

Of her son that did not

But as she believed

Today she will see that little tot!

Each child that lived reflects a portion of this woman.

Each one knew and remembers

Isolated, private and individual


Some sad—some happy–some divine.

Mine are mine. I speak from them.

A Mother died to-day.

Funerals are for the living.

This one to tell of a Mother’s giving.

Funerals in our clan are not an opportunity

To wash another’s hands

But to speak true and honest

About a mother we lay to rest.

About a woman who knit our mittens

Mittens with a string from one to another

So as not to confuse mine with my brother’s.

About oatmeal for breakfast,

And how it would last.

What was good for me?

And what I should let pass.

A Mother died today.

The Gardens she loved,

The woods and vales, and streams

Of New Brunswick she grew up in

The cities of Ontario she was introduced to.

The plains and the prairies of Alberta

That moved her to write and contribute to her community

When her nest was empty.

Her pain and agony over the men she married.

Her pain and agony over the men she didn’t marry.

The joy and happiness with the men she married.

The joy and happiness with the men she did not marry.

A Mother died today.

In my youth as a boy

I thought her cruel

But in looking back, as a man,

She was only trying to survive

Self-preservation, basic of all instincts.

She was pressured and badgered

By society and by her choice of partners.

To please and survive,

She sacrificed.

All that was available to her.

A Mother died today.

My Mother embraced a Christian belief

That each of us, before time, as spirits, walked to and fro

In the corridors (of) heaven

In the presence of God.

Then, we were born into mortal life.

Then when we die and return to the presence

To the presence of God.

A Mother died today.

What to say when your Mother dies?

Let me relate from a letter of 1991

“Dear Mother, rest easy in your twilight years

All is forgiven and forgotten.”

That was seventeen years ago.

Her faculties were all in tact.

She knew I understood the reason behind

Her choices and sacrifices.

A Mother died today.

Life is given free to all

To choose our own path

Until our call

The road we chose

To win or lose.

The body, mind, and Soul

Reflect those avenues that show us whole.

Length of days.

Soundness of mind.

Gentleness of voice and kind.

As Helen endured she gathered this pay.

A Mother died today.

No newspaper will read

Her giving, her caring, her tending to need

Not Perfect.

Not a Saint.

Not an angel without taint.

But a warrior, a survivor

A formidable foe

When cornered or threatened

Into battle she’d go.

For the values she held dear

In that direction she would steer.

A Mother died today.

Do we her children count her life

By the beds she made? the diapers? the miles?

The meals? or do we recall the items she missed

And recount her fall?

Each of us select what we think and say.

A Mother died today.

Since no newspaper will herald her passing

We her children now reflect what values are lasting.

The good

The sad

The righteous

The bad

What about love?

To me I define

“When you care more about the well-being of another

Than you do about yourself.”

How many of us use this term of love

Not as intended by God up above

Each of us has our memories and joy.

Mine as a man.

Some still as a boy.

A tribute to a woman whose quiver is full

And upon inspection her road was mostly an up hill pull.

A mother died today.

It is time for her to rest.

To remember only her best.

Her faults no benefit to any.

Her good deeds, her services were many

Each of us has individual snap shots in time.

These I have chosen, they are mine.

My Mother died today.

-Guest poet

Chester Anderson (Sonny) Ferris

for his Mother

Helen Della Mae Calhoun Ferris Howe

Born August 25, 1919

Passed Away April 11, 2008


6 thoughts on “A Mother Died To-Day Chester (Sonny) Anderson Ferris

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