I’m sitting by a charging point in the B gate lounge at Heathrow. I can’t believe it was only 2 weeks ago I was boarding a plane to London to go look after my mum.
It seems a life time ago.
My dad got up to say goodbye to me at the station this morning. It was dark and we could not see the flowers mum and I planted in July. We were early so we had a little time to chat about the future: my dad’s wanderlust, selling the house, where he might live.
Because we knew mum was going to die these are not new discussions. Indeed we had them with her. Mum’s view was that Dad should come and live with me. Austin would be a cool new beginning. He would have a role helping me and the kids who seem to need as much help as teenagers as they did as young children but in very different ways. More taxi service and homework help than dressing and washing!
But moving to America at 82 is a big deal. Practicalities of greencard and health insurance make it a complicated option.
But he has time.
Its still so soon. The hospital bed and tray table are still in the downstairs sittingroom. The sheets still unwashed in the bathroom. The soap from her last wash still vaguely wet.
I still have cat hairs on my trousers.
When the train came we hugged and I told him I loved him. No tears. I wonder if I am all cried out.
The small local train stops at Darsham then Saxmundum. Each stop brings me closer to Austin. Light slowly grows but its misty out and cows and boats are expressionist watercolour shapes washed in greys and whites.
I like trains. Today the business of changing at Ipswich, the tube, Heathrow express keep me busy. As we arrive at Liverpool Street people (mostly suited) flood from the train and fill the platform as purposeful as ants. I am drawn in the tide. In the tube watch peoples legs. People are more skinny and scruffy than they are in Austin.
I am dressed in mum’s multicoloured cardigan and aubergine silky top. This is partly because when I came I packed very light, partly because they are beautiful brightly coloured and comfortable, party because mum told me she liked the thought of them being cherished and worn by me but also because they make her feel nearer and less gone.
I really can’t believe that she is dead so quickly. I never had to extend my trip or change my ticket. Considerately she didnt hang on. It was typical of her. She always would do anything for me.