The soundtrack to these days is Snow Patrol, despite the fact that The day thy gavest, Lord, is ending is in my ears all the time. But in the car Snow Patrol rules. There is one track that I turn up, that somehow articulates some of what I am feeling, and the fact that it has pretty, jangly, chords too seems right. It’s about a broken love affair; he doesn’t know, but she could be happy. I feel a bit like that with Mother. She isn’t able to tell me, but maybe she is happy; maybe she is happily saying a slow goodbye to her life. She has always had a strong Christian faith, so maybe she is anticipating a happy afterlife. Some months after my father died, she was walking down the road, thinking about him, when suddenly she looked up at the sky and thought, he’s a free spirit now. She told me she felt like a burden had been lifted, that instead of imagining him in his death throes, she felt he was happy, not slowed and frustrated by the illnesses he had suffered.
Another line in the same song says how somehow everything he has smells of her. It strikes a chord. How can the abstract pack such a punch?
When my father died, my mother and I listened to Van Morrison and the Chieftains, Irish Heartbeat, on my car stereo as we got on with the things we had to do. It still takes me back to that time. Mother loved it so, I bought her a copy, and when I finally had to leave to return to London and work, she put it on in her sitting room and I played it in the car so that as I drove away, we were still somehow together.
Meanwhile, MasterB has other thoughts on his mind. We have already had a walk ashore this morning where he found lots to stimulate him, and my nerves finally cracked and I carried him, wriggling, back to das Boot. He had pushed past me when I opened the door to put the bag of used cat litter on the gunwale. I need to give him some attention and some freedom before I leave him for Mother again today, but this time I shall be close behind with the harness, ready to restrain his roamings should he become too adventurous.
I’m not sure what the soundtrack to this will be.