Memories Of My Mother – 5
October 9, 2012 in Memories Of My Mother
She loved pale flowers, she’d always say. I bought these for her the last time I went to the supermarket, just about a week ago. I had noticed them as I entered the store, but had initially passed them by. I walked on but couldn’t get them out of my head. They were such a pale yellow and peculiar intensity under the mixture of weak daylight and store fluorescents I walked back with my trolley and got them. Not the bunch I’d originally seen, but one much more vibrant to my eye. They were £3 and I could spare it. There wasn’t much food to buy as neither of us had any significant appetite. Nourishment doesn’t have to be eaten.
She loved them, of course.
They’re still there now, beside the fire in the lounge. None of the leaves are falling off yet, but that’s coming soon.
We hadn’t been able to go out shopping for a while. About two months I think. She found it increasingly difficult to walk around the supermarket with me. The last three or four times, I’d gone myself. It was never the same. The checkout women would always start talking to her while I packed and she did what she could. Her back was the problem towards the end. Immense pain.
When you’re with someone every day, caring for them, you don’t notice the slide so much. Things we’d done together just fell by the wayside over days, weeks, months and years. I think we were last out on an actual day out, that didn’t involve shopping for something, about five years ago. A day trip down the River Clyde on a paddle-steamer called the Waverley. It’s quite famous in Scotland. It was just her and I. It was a beautiful day, there and back. We enjoyed each other’s company.
I miss her terribly, but I’m glad she’s no longer in pain. I’ve seen it etched into her face in hospital waiting rooms, in the kitchen here, in front of the television, as she lay down in bed. To see someone you love go through that is an awful, hardening thing. And when you’ve got limited means you somehow learn to take the pain away for a while, even if it just means spending £3 on flowers.
She’s becoming sunshine-yellow in my mind. It’s her colour. She’s bright and alive and joyful and she bursts out of the shadows sometimes and makes me cry quietly during these lonely, Autumnal days.
She’s memory now, and I’m full of them.