Theresa Veronica Haykin (1933-1976)

A few days ago I posted regarding my appreciation for my father. Growing up, though, my mother was much the main figure around my house. My father was simply too absent at work for much of my early life. My mother was Irish. And if I am pushed to the wall as to my ethnic identity, I am Irish or Irish-Canadian. My father is Kurdish, but certain decisions he made effectively cut off any contact with that part of my past. And so I grew up in a strongly Irish Catholic household with my mother’s culture forming the ambience in which I moved and had my childhood and teens. Yes, born in England. But there is far too much in my make-up that cannot be explained by the English land in which I was born and, as I have gotten to know the Irish better, I see it is that cloth that I am cut from

Origins are not everything. The most important fact about me is this: I am a sinner with a great Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (to borrow from John Newton). But this sinner was born and raised Irish. And I have grown to love that cultural heritage.

My mother was a consummate extrovert and loved people. People fascinated her and she could strike up a conversation with anyone. She became a true believer in the Lord Jesus not long before she died—and is now in glory (what a fabulous word that—glory!). Growing up, I adored her. Her death was devastating. Not that I ever doubted God’s goodness or right to do with his creation as he pleased.

She was a beautiful person. That death was in 1976. Over thirty years ago. In some ways, though, her person is as fresh now in my mind as when last I saw her on the day before she died.