The most poignant Perfect Verse – a letter to Mum
In my career as a comedian & bespoke poet, I’ve written for weddings, birthdays, businesses, and even written spoof lyrics for videos!
But the Perfect Verse which nestles closest to my heart was the one which helped a family get back together.
One year, just before Christmas, Sue telephoned me. She was 50 years old, and had been divorced for a year. She was on excellent terms with her ex husband Dave; both parties happily having moved on to new partners. But it wasn’t quite so straightforward when it came to her ex-husband’s parents.
Dave’s parents didn’t know how to relate to Sue any more and completely ‘withdrew’ from her. They continued to see her children, but excluded Sue from family occasions. Suddenly she was without the family – and the love – that she’d treasured for the previous thirty five years. She’d always been fond of her mother in law, and found it painful to miss out on her nieces and nephews growing up.
“They’re still my family” she said ”but I can’t find the words I need. I want to tell them that I love them and miss them, and my feelings for them haven’t changed just because Dave and I are apart.” It was a very poignant consultation, and Sue’s pain was tangible.
I reviewed my notes and set to work. This was the result.
A Letter to Mum
These words are written from my heart and sent with love today,
This time of year is special, Mum; there’s much I’d like to say,
For twenty one long years, you were a huge part of my life,
You welcomed me with so much love when I became Dave’s wife,
Recollections, which I hold so dear remain, indeed, so strong,
Our early years were wonderful, in those days, nothing wrong
I remember family Christmases, with stockings every year,
We were adamant we wouldn’t let that habit disappear,
Your ways are quite ingrained in me; I’ve made it such a mission,
To follow in your footsteps and keep all of your traditions,
To visit you for Sunday lunch was always such a treat,
Times were more straightforward then; our lives seemed so complete,
But life can sometimes be so cruel; it really made its mark,
When we learned that Ian had lost his life, whilst serving in Iraq,
The sun went down for all of us in just one dreadful day,
And for Anne, such terrible tragedy; a baby on the the way,
But this family stands together, compassionate and true,
You’ve supported Anne so beautifully; you always helped her through,
I know you were distraught when Dave and I went separate ways,
But we’d struggled for so long; we’d had so many troubled days,
Separation isn’t easy; it brings deep abiding pain,
For us, it was the best thing, there was no-one else to blame,
I still care for him so deeply, and this I hope you know,
But in order to be happy, we had to let each other go,
I know that Dave is settled now; his smile is back once more,
But I’ve struggled with this ‘moving on’ it’s hard to close a door,
I really miss my nieces, so much more than you could know,
I used to love to be with them, to watch them play and grow,
These very precious memories mean I often sit and dwell,
And Mum, I need to tell you, that I’m missing you as well,
I miss your hearty laughter; miss the comfort in your smile,
I miss your loving hugs Mum; and I have done, for a while,
Time is very precious; it often marches on too fast,
And a gulf sometimes appears; becomes too deep, too wide too vast,
Please don’t let this happen Mum, I know we’re now ‘apart’
But you’ll always be a part of me, tucked deep within my heart,
You’re Grandma to my children; that’s a thing we’ll always share,
And I need to let you know, this year, how very much I care,
And I hope these special words today will truly help you see,
That whatever might have been and gone, you’ll still be ‘Mum’ to me
©Jan Jack 2010
Sue cried when I read her Perfect Verse to her. And, I confess, so did I. She told me she was going to put it in her ex Mother in Law’s Christmas card.
A few days after Christmas, she contacted me. “I’ve had a phone call from Mum. We’re having lunch together next week. Jan, I don’t know what to say. I just can’t thank you enough.”
All in all, I think that has to be one of my proudest moments.