She wasn’t an easy person…understand not in the infamous being easy sense, she just wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Safely said, her glass was always less than half-empty.
Who is kidding whom? It was empty.
My Reader might think this a rather harsh and hard-to-tell recollection of The Mother. She was exactly what she was. Harsh. Hard. She was The Mother.
The biggest regret was not having asked more questions, not that they would have been answered nor would they have been answered truthfully. The Mother painted answers with half-truth colours. Questions could have been asked but weren’t.
The Mother died a little over two years ago in a hospital bed mentally alone, just as she had spent almost all her ninety plus years of life. Alone in spite of marriage and raising a family. She chose silent closure but was not afforded physical isolation her last three days of life and those last hours of breath. Someone was there.
The Daughter. The bastard child who didn’t know but The Family knew. The Daughter who was The Mother’s unfavoured one for being the unplanned future that held nothing but whispers of shame and in those long-ago days nothing but scandal. The Secret.
Picture The Daughter sitting beside the bed holding The Mother’s hand, reading a twice-borrowed library book*. The book having been loaned by a friend for comfort. For caring. For the duration.
In pain but coming in and out of drug-induced sleep The Mother asked that The Daughter read the book aloud. To ease the quiet. To fill the time. Neither The Mother nor The Daughter knew during the reading of those early chapters, that the story was the mirror of The Mother’s true-to-life regret and final redemption. Little did either of them know that the lifetime of words The Mother refused to acknowledge aloud were being read to her by the one person to whom she should have spoken to and who would have listened.
The Daughter. Her Daughter.
So many questions.
*Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler (2013)