When I was seven, my mom died of breast cancer. One of the silver linings of cancer is that you can plan ahead, say your goodbyes and share wisdom, advice and love before you go. My mom and I sat together with a tape recorder while she read stories to me, including the Brambly Hedge Mice Autumn story. I still have the tape; her gentle voice rising and falling, my small one piping up periodically, "Primrose is hiding!" She also wrote me a book illustrated with water color pictures. She was an artist and a writer and she left me with thoughts that she wouldn't be able to share as I grew up; thoughts about who I was, what it means to be a woman, advice on making your own choices and choosing your own path.
I still have my Autumn Story book and I read it to Sam now. I memorized this little poem that the momma mouse says to Primrose at the end when she's been rescued and is safely tucked into her own little bed:
Ease your whiskers, rest your paws,
Pies and Puddings fill the stores.
Sweetly dream the night away,
Till sunshine brings another day.
And this what I whisper to him at night as he's falling asleep.