Yesterday evening today stretched like a blank canvas of possibility. Even better when I woke to sunshine and blue sky after an afternoon of persistent rain and dribbly skies all evening.
I thought about going to IKEA and looking at the kitchens. Maybe a visit to the newly refurbed IWM, or even the Cabinet War Rooms. But in the end, I had a largely domestic day with MasterB. One appointment before lunchtime; washing drying on the line; a visit to the bank to pay a bill and to pay in a cheque.
I was daydreaming in the short queue, aware that someone a couple of places behind me was talking, and assuming it was a mobile phone conversation. Then the woman after me in the queue stepped really close and I was jolted into the present. Very clearly, I heard a man muttering, “I hate you. You are disgusting.”
Oh-oh, one of those mobile phone conversations. Well at least he wasn’t shouting. Once tuned in, I couldn’t help hearing more: a long stream of hatred and invective. A monologue. I glanced round. The man did not have a mobile phone. He was queuing quietly with everyone else on a sunny Saturday morning with his hatred of the world spewing out of his mouth. By now, the woman behind me was virtually standing on my heels.
Is it better someone this disturbed is speaking aloud than those words just spin silently in his own head where no one else can hear them? I don’t know.
Back at home, MasterB wanted indoor play. String was the thing. I put my paper aside and picked up my camera.

The Love Cat

The Love Cat

How could you not love him?
He raced backwards and forwards, out onto the landing, back inside. We playfought. I threw things that he caught. He submitted to being turned upside down and cuddled. When he was quieter, I photographed.
Sweet Boy

Sweet Boy



After lunch, I read my paper and MasterB lay with his head on my leg. Occasionally, he opened his eyes and blinked a sleepy greeting. He made it flatteringly clear that he wanted to be with me.
Later I had things to do in the garden. Out he came. One of my neighbours was there with her hula hoop. We talked. We hulaed. I need to buy my own hoop. I learned her father had died last year and had had advanced dementia. If only we had known our situations before, we could have offered each other support.
On the street, I saw Celia coming from her flat. We waved. MasterB lifted his nose to her hand then rubbed his head against her. Celia and I had our dying mother conversations earlier in the year. It was so helpful to have someone else who was in the same zone nearby. It is still helpful as we deal with the official and emotional aftermath of losing a parent. Rummaging through some papers yesterday, I found a telephone number written in my mother’s hand. Why should that bring home the finality of her death? Is it that the hand that wrote it can write no more? I tucked it back with the other papers and closed the drawer.
Now it is nearly half past nine and I am ready for my bed. I shall get MasterB indoors, give him his dinner, clean my teeth and read until my eyes close.

15 thoughts on “Saturday

    • I am so sorry to hear this. It is a hard time, both during and after. I wrote about it at the time in April and May, a sort of daily processing of the events, and found both the writing and the responses immeasurably helpful. Now nearly six months on, I am achieving a state of acceptance, but it is moments like unexpectedly finding my mother’s handwriting that someone brings home the reality and allows me to realise there is a lot more healing to go yet.
      I hope you find the support you need and that you are able to take time to be with your parent and to have time for yourself too.
      Best wishes.

  1. MasterB is adorable – and you’ve captured him well.
    i know about finding things later. i came across something handwritten by my Dad quite some time after he had passed away. he seldom wrote anything but the necessity, so it was a treat to see his unmistakable hand in it. he must have been doodling while on a visit in town when my aunt and uncle from Germany were visiting. on the piece of notepaper it said, ‘Schade, daß die Zei so schnell vergeht.’
    duty called, and there were chickens to look after, and my parents drove back to the farm after their visit. somehow, the paper had been left behind, and found its way into the papers I later found. The translation, ‘It’s too bad that time passes so quickly.’
    very true indeed. and at the same time, it is wonderful to be able to remember those good times with fondness. memories used to be tough, but time has been kind, and now as i remember them, the frequently make me smile. do take care of yourself. am also glad that MasterB is there, taking good care of you, too. 🙂

    • Thanks Pix. Yes, I can look at examples of my father’s writing quite calmly, I just have a host of unanswered questions I cannot ask him. I think it was the unexpectedness of this piece of cardboard, coupled with the fact that I have been thinking of her quite a lot this week, that gave me a shock.
      What a lovely thing for your father to have written, and how wonderful that you have it. It is like an epitaph.

  2. That boy is absolutely THE cutest…..don’t tell Sam I said that though……as for finding something in your Mom’s handwriting – that STILL happens to me and it’s been since 2001 – it still gives me pause when I see it….always will I’m sure. Happy Sunday………

    • Thanks Pam. It is the big eyes I think. They give his face a kitten quality.
      Handwriting is so personal, it connects us at once to someone. That is about all I have against the beautiful but anonymous scripts of some older pieces of writing I have from my grandparents. They were obvious,y strictly schooled.

  3. Two bells for your sweet faced boy?! I would think it would be a lovely sound to hear him walking about the house. I have my Mom’s last check register. I have a large stack of letters she wrote me while I was away at college. So happy I saved them. They really are treasures for me. You are so right about handwriting.

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