I’m feeling nostalgic and sad this evening. We’ve had a super day…. we went on a trip to the Natural History Museum, it was fabulous, made all the better by having an excited toddler in tow. But, this evening I can’t help thinking about poor old Mum and what she’s missing. Usually I’d wait for any museum trips until the folks came to visit, we love an educational trip our family. We’d have bundled on to the train in excited delight, Mum would have loved taking charge of Annie, proudly pushing her round in her pram whilst she snoozed, giving her a bottle, pulling funny faces and making her giggle. She would have been thrilled at Thomas’s squeals of excitement on the train, along with him for the ride. Dad would have been Chief Educator, quizzing Thomas on the names of different dinosaurs and mammals – always with kindness and patience. I would have felt happy and safe, looked after and supported, albeit slightly anxious that they weren’t too tired or concerned whether they were having a nice time.
The usual rhythms would go unsaid; time for a cuppa; time for lunch. Mum would have helped me cook and feed the kids on our return – the wine & crisps would be opened, she’d have wanted to put them to bed and read them their bedtime stories. I’m feeling sad today because she’s missing it. They’re missing it all. And, of course, we are missing them. It’s a huge, gaping void which becomes so glaringly obvious on days like these. The realisation that my children will never know their exceptional Granny, so talented, beautiful and funny is a hard truth to bear.
I called Mum when we got home, she’s had a 7.5/10 day. Apart from a stranger having to do up her belt after going to the loo in M&S, I think it was ok. Thomas had a chat with her, she sounded so normal, so good, she asked him about his little sister (I don’t think she can remember Annie’s name). She was back for a brief moment in time, but then it was back to the weather. So English, but it’s safe. She’s still cold apparently.
I’m not blind to the fact that we, compared to some, are having it easy. All families have their crap. I just have to watch the news or go to work to realise humans can bear immense suffering and survive. I have cried with parents who have lost their child, I have hugged a bereaved husband at 2am, we couldn’t save his wife and he has no-one else in this world. I think about him often. Our grief, by comparison, is a dull continuing ache. She’s disappearing like a ghost and she’s missing it all.