In Blackest Night – Another Year
My Mum lost her battle with Cancer three years ago today. It was a fairly short battle – she was diagnosed less than a year before it claimed her life. Despite me living almost 400 miles away we remained close – I’d phone her regularly and see how she was, if their was any gossip back in my home town and to update her on all that was going on down here. The home phone number is etched into my brain and every so often I feel the urge to pick up the phone and dial her.
At least once a year, every year, we would drive up to see my family. We would usually go up around the time of my birthday as hers was the day after. I’d normally drive through the night and get there around about 2am onward. She would always be up, watching TV waiting for us. She was a natural worrier so she wouldn’t have been able to sleep until she knew we had arrived safely.
Once the kids and my wife (fiancee at the time) were settled in bed I would sit/lie on the kitchen floor and talk to my Mum for at least an hour. That was something I used to do a lot of when I was younger – she would sit in the kitchen watching TV (she’d never sit in the living room because she only smoked in the kitchen) and I would come downstairs and just lie on the floor and we would talk for hours. We would talk about life, her past and stuff to do with my family and we would try and put the world to rights. What pains me is that a lot of what she knew and passed on to me I have forgotten or certain details are hazy or lost forever.
I wish I had recorded our conversations or written them down or just some mean of recording the information for future reference. With my grandparents and her gone, there are huge gaps in my life where my memory no longer recalls and they would have been able to fill in those blanks.
It doesn’t get easier, no matter what anyone says. There have been many times where my depression has felt like it’s spiralling out of control and ending my life seemed like the only solution. When she was lying on the hospital bed as I sat by her side there were many silent wishes of switching places so that I could go and she could carry on. I’ve never felt fond of living and often resented my conception so it seemed criminal that I should get to live when I don’t have any gratitude for being brought into this world.
I had thirty years of her just being there whenever I needed her. That’s thirty years of habit. She was reliable. She was punctual. She would bend over backwards to help. That’s quite a crutch to just suddenly drop. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the thought of me disappointing her. Certain old school values have been transferred to me such as manners and respect and, by rejecting my life, I am basically flipping her the bird and spitting in her face.
It doesn’t stop me thinking, “Why couldn’t it have been me?”.
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