Celebrating Dot’s 100th Birthday

By Brenda Brophy & Dot Finnerty | Caregiver & Participant | Voices in Motion

One of our ViM choristers at Mount St. Mary’s was unable to celebrate her birthday with her family. Dot Finnerty turned 100 years old in April. Rick spoke with her daughter, Brenda, recently and asked about and asked about what it was like not being able to be in her mom’ presence on the special day.

Brenda will be sharing the full heartfelt story on Rick’s radio program on Thursday, June 11, 2020 @ 7pm (PST) www.blogtalkradio.com/rickbergh

As Brenda reflected upon her mom’s life and Dot’s response to life’s challenges – that span a century – she wrote her mom’s wise words down and turned them into a poem. She gave me permission to share it with you. The poem is called It’s Always Something.

It’s Always Something

Mom. There’s a virus. It’s all over the world. We can’t go out. I can’t come see you. 
Well, it’s always something isn’t it? We’ll get together when we can. 

Mom. People are freaking out that the stores will run out of toilet paper. 
We never had toilet paper growing up. Used the Sears catalogue, but you wanted the black and white pages, the coloured ones were too scratchy. They’ll survive. It’s always something. 

Mom. People are lining up outside grocery stores. They are stockpiling food. It may leave other people short. 
We grew all our own food. Shot what we ate. Traded cordwood for flour and sugar at the general store. For years we never saw real money. It’s always something. 

Mom. No one can go out to eat, restaurants are closed. 
We never had restaurants. Always had food on the table though, cooked extra. Sometimes neighbours came by. There was always enough. They’ll get by without restaurants. It’s always something. 

Mom. No one is traveling. Planes are grounded. Borders are closed. 
Is that right? A long trip for us was by horse and buggy to Paddockwood. When we moved north in ’31, our mom had never been away from her family. She was sad, but never let us know. We didn’t go far but we were happy. Not traveling – could be worse. It’s always something. 

Mom. There’s a pandemic. It’s bad.
My older sister was born the year WW1 ended, there was a pandemic. Spanish flu. This will pass. It’s always something. 

Mom. It’s bad. Businesses are shut down. Others are having to make equipment and goods for the pandemic. Everyone is impacted. 
Sounds like the war years. Everyone was part of the war effort. You hunkered down and got to work. Did all you could. It’s always something. 

Mom. We were supposed to all be together this weekend to celebrate your 100th birthday. Edna, your sister, she’s 102, was flying here. All your nephews and nieces. Family from all over were coming. 
Oh well, we’ll get together when we can. This will be over eventually. It’s always something. 

Mom. I’m sad. I miss you. Are you ok? 
Oh, I’m fine. No complaints. And even if I did it wouldn’t do me any good anyway.  

“It’s always something,” she said, with laughter in her voice and joy in her heart.  A hundred years to reflect on what brings peace, contentment and a realistic way of looking at life. 

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