Tag Archives: coronavirus

A mother named Corona


Fortunately she never went viral. My mother’s name was Corona. French/Irish Catholic, Québécois, no one seems to know why. I vaguely recall some family lore that claimed a nun at the convent where she was born took it from the typewriter in the office. Why? Was my grandmother incapacitated? She’d become pregnant at age 15 by one Reginald Haley and sent to the home for unwed mothers. Apparently he returned the day she reached the age of consent to marry her. They had four more children before he went off to war with the Royal Rifles regiment, eventually taken prisoner by the Japanese army and dying of dysentery. Grandma contracted cancer forcing Corona to quit school at the age of twelve to care for her and her siblings. Damn. It’s a Shakespearian tragedy! All this according to Corona who loved to regale us with stories, mostly sad and horrifying tales of terror and abuse. Though I loved her deeply, Corona was a horrendous mother and I wince every time I hear “coronavirus.”

Ain’t life grand! As I told my sister, all the pain becomes assimilated, though we had to ignore it in order to survive.

She does a good job of not thinking about it and though not much consolation I told her we will never be free of the past, memories a vital part of who we are. Like scars, always visible but integrated into and onto our body. Soul. And I cherish my scars; hard won, well earned, the best sort of tattoo.