Thursday, November 22, 2012


Jill McClelland

June 2009

Some old bones live in nursing homes
Other bones don't give in
Fit old bones like to roam
Always like to win.

If you don't use it, you lose it
Is a very true saying eh,
So bones, get up and get fit
There is no time to delay

Some bones are quite tired
And everything seems too hard
A handyman can be hired
To tidy up the yard.

If you stumble and fall
Fragile bones can break
Drive your car into a wall
Oh the havoc you can make.

Some bowling friends are 90+
And a good game they still play
Mobility scooter ready to rush
Where legs won't do as you say.

Walking sticks at strange angles
They struggle to the green
And wow, up goes the bowl
Some of the best I have ever seen.

Achy bones are hard to live with
As I well and truly know
But better that than the other choice
Of being 6 feet below.

© Copyright Act 1994


You know how it is. Suddenly you smell something that brings back memories of a past event – the smell of candy floss at a fair ground – the smell of frying onions by the sausage sizzle stand.

Well, this particular day I couldn't believe the scent that arose from the flower beds at the cemetery. I had gone to place some flowers of my parents' grave and all of a sudden there came this very strong aroma of violets. The flowers in the beds were roses and there was no accounting for the aroma that was surrounding me.

The last words my mother spoke to me were that heaven was just like a garden of flowers and the song 'Tip Toe Through the Tulips' always brings moisture to my eyes.

Lately I have been having vivid dreams of my mother and this was definitely some message coming through.

At home I felt quite strange but after a strong cup of coffee settled slightly. Still the thought persisted that I should go to the garden shed and look in the old tool box that had stood there for as long as I can remember. I had never looked in it before but the feeling was so intense that I just had to go. Lifting the lid was a hard task as years of debris had filled the hinges with grime. Imagine my surprise when under the rusty tools I saw a canvas bag lying right across the bottom of the chest. I carefully lifted it out and the contents were in surprisingly good repair. Firstly, a beautiful dress embroidered with violets round the sleeves and hem and then a pair of velvet shoes to match. Tiny pale purple gloves and stocking of sheer silk. What did this mean?

I had seen my mother's wedding photos and this wasn't her wedding dress and I had no idea to whom it my have belonged. On looking further I found an envelope full of newspaper clippings all about a young girl who had died in suspicious circumstances over 70 years ago. My parents never really discussed the past very much and hedged over some things that I asked and now I understood. The dress must have belonged to my aunt who they told my had immigrated to New Zealand as a girl.

How I wished my mother could have confided in me as to the real story of Violet – for that was her name – and I felt that yesterday at the cemetery she was trying to tell me about it.

Scents are so personal and have such intimate and personal meanings for all of us. I can't explain this story – it just happened and I thought I would share it with you.

Jill McClelland
© Copyright Act 1994

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