Mother, 76 and Daughter, 46
D: Daughter interviewing mother. Describe your mother’s arms. What does your mother’s arms look like? Can you think back?
M: Her arms. Let me see. As I recall they look standard to me. They’re always open, welcoming others. Welcoming her daughters. They were wonderful arms. And I loved them.
D (laughs): I mean when you say you loved them, why did you love them? Is it because she was a hugger? I know she was a teacher.
M: She loved to hug. She hugged her kids. She loved her – she hugged her students. She was a hugger. And for myself I guess I am a carbon copy of the things that she did while she was alive. For myself I like to hug those, those people who I love, who I care about – genuinely care about.
D: Yah, cuz you don’t hug a lot of people. I mean you…
M: I don’t hug a lot of people. And there are reasons for that. Because somehow the spirit does not allow me to hug a lot of people. The spirit tells me when I should hug, and I hug genuinely.
D: I’ve seen you hug your students. I’ve seen students come up to you and say, “Hey Ms. Currie or Ms. Carol.”
M: Yes! There were some students in the schools that I have been in who are so sweet that I want to just hug them and tell them how great they were. Hugging is something that we all should use when we think it’s appropriate. Not just hug for the sake of hugging. Hug because we really want to do it. And let the person know that we care about them.
D: Aaagh, but in the time of covid we’re unable – what do you think about that now?
M: Covid, no. Definitely not. I do we agree that we can do the elbow knock or we can just look in each other’s eyes and we can see warmth in those eyes. We don’t have to hug during covid and we should not hug during covid. It is not safe.
D: But you hug me
M: And it’s not appropriate. Yes I do hug my daughter because she’s my daughter. And I hug my husband because he’s my husband and I hug Pepper the cat because Pepper is a little sweetheart and Pepper is loving when he wants to be
D: Or when he’s hungry
M: Or when he’s hungry
D: Um, I wanted to ask you about umm your mother in terms of her arms. Oh, you mentioned your own arms. You’ve gone through something with your own arms. Aches or –
M: Yes. As we age as you know we have little aches and pains, and at the moment there are times when my – my shoulder and my arms get rather stiff and I have to be shaking them to ease the discomfort, so the only thing I would wish for is that I don’t have to exercise my arms half as much as I do but if that is what I have to do to get my arms feeling great and wonderful then I will do it gladly. The other concern I have at times is my doctor says the underarms appear to be a little lumpy. But then don’t worry about it, it’s natural. Even though I don’t think it’s natural but then who am I?
D: I mean you know your body.
M: I know my body.
D: Sometimes better than doctors.
M: Better than doctors, but then I am happy for the arm I have, for the shoulder I have and for the ability to open them wide to welcome my daughter and others.
D: Ok, I think kind of the closing question I asked before, “Did your mom have any issues with her arms or her body in that area?”
M: Yes, I think my mom had issues with her arm even though she did not let us all aware of the issues she had at any given point. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and I think one of the symptoms would’ve been lumpiness or even possibly slight discomfort which she never disclosed until the doctor said YEP, you have breast cancer.
D: But that’s not what she passed away from.
M: But she passed away having a stroke. And I think that was due to not having the proper medical care at that time in the environment in which we were forced to be in. The medical care was not as it should be. But now it has improved. But we can look back with regrets or look back and be happy with the time we had together.