Disclaimer: Candle in the wind: Music by Elton John Lyrics by Bernie Taupin


"As we lay our dearly departed sister to rest, we know this is not goodbye but only a short farewell; as we shall see her again in paradise."

Lilian stared coldly at the coffin as it was lowered into the grave. She could hear the blubbering and wailing of the other guests but was too encased in her own thoughts to acknowledge them. She couldn't understand their grief. This woman had done nothing to bring joy to their lives.at least not to hers. This 'woman' had, in fact, brought nothing but pain and frustration to her being. She did not deserve their tears! She chuckled, here she was at a funeral, her mother's, and she was the only one not crying.

Lilian stifled a sigh as her mother's sister approached her after the funeral. "I am so sorry for your loss dear." She said, still crying her eyes out. Lilian just nodded and turned towards her car. "It's not like she cared for me anyway," she mumbled to herself as the scene in the rear-view mirror grew further away, "The old 'hag'!" She wondered why she had bothered attending the charade, she couldn't even use the will for an excuse, there was nothing worth wanting.

Her father had left when she was two years old, so she couldn't really remember much about him. The only thing she knew was that it was her mother's fault that he left. Her mother had let her grow up without a father; she never even made an attempt to remarry. No, her whole day was made up of cleaning the house, shopping and raising the kids. she wondered how they had money; she never saw her mother work. It was then that lilian realised that she never really knew her mother.

She couldn't sleep that night. No matter how she tried, she couldn't get pictures and memories of her childhood out of her mind. Eventually she found herself in the attic looking though the photo albums, finding old toys and trinkets. It made her think of happy and carefree days of her early childhood, before her mother made them move from the country life she loved so much to the cold, dark, violence of urban living. She quickly shut the book. She didn't want to remember the past! She was happy with her life as it was. She went back down to her room. The silence was deafening. Lilian turned on the hi-fi, a song burst from the speakers but only made her feel worse.

The next day was disastrous. Lilian still couldn't get her mother out of her thoughts. Everything reminded her of her childhood. "Gees Louis! You look terrible!" cried Julian as she got into the car. "Thanks a lot." Replied lilian. "Well, it's expected! You just lost your mother for crying out loud!" Julian was Lillian's best friend, despite the age difference, and the total difference in character. "Shame, you must be really missing her." "No, I'm glad to be rid of her." Julian gave her a look of shock. "What? She never gave a fig about me." "How can you say that? You were the only person she did care about!" "If she cared about me she wouldn't have left my father! She wouldn't have made me leave all my friends back on the farm! She ruined my life!" Lilian suddenly realised she was shouting. "Whoa, slow down lil. You don't know the full story." Julian began telling lilian of how her father would come home drunk and beat her mother. How she sneaked away in the middle of the night with lilian. And how she came to the city with no money and no job but still put her daughter's welfare before her own. When Julian stopped talking, both their eyes were welling with tears.

"That was why she did it. she did it all for me." Lilian thought to herself as she shut her front door. She fell to her knees and put her head in her hands. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she thought of all the times she fought with and blamed her mother for a crime she didn't commit. She hadn't spoken to her mother for four years. and now it was too late. Too late to say she was sorry. to late to say goodbye.

Goodbye Norma jean

Though I never knew you at all

You had the grace to hold yourself

While those around you crawled

They crawled out of the woodwork

And they whispered into your brain

They set you on the treadmill

And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life

Like a candle in the wind

Never knowing who to cling to

When the rain set in

And I would have liked to have known you

But I was just a kid

Your candle burned out long before

Your legend never did

Now she understood, now that she knew about the past, she could learn for the future.