This post is in honour of my mother, Grace Gallacher Gaylie (Tobin), born in Glasgow, Scotland, passed away in Vancouver Canada, September 10, 2014.
I chose this photo for my mother’s funeral prayer card. Here my mother sits in her wheelchair: strong, eager, happy, well loved – and looking forward. In other words, real beauty. Total authenticity. Totally human. That was my mother’s spirit. She was a true Glaswegian-Celtic woman: bold in generosity, constantly encouraging of young people, and kind, loving, and most of all, genuine, to every person and living entity she encountered. My mother was gentle — though never weak. My mother worked in Glasgow factories as a teenager, then in Woolworth’s in Glasgow and London (she had a fun sense of fashion and style). She also had a grounded sense of humour, and good Glaswegian-Irish wit.
My mother, my friend, my mentor – my first teacher.
My mother was also known for her deep, genuine, spirituality and social justice ethics, which she put into practice throughout her life, as a labourer, as a mother, and as a worker with the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement and other Vancouver charities.
My mother’s soulful respect for life, and death, was with her to her last breath.
My mother always appreciated a song, simply sung: