Today, had she lived, my mother would have been – I’m pretty sure, based on the little sums I’ve been doing all day – sixty years old. And because of this, and other things which aren’t really mine to share, it has been…oh, it has been a sad day. Depths-of-the-soul and face-your-demons sad. I’m sure you know what I mean. You’ve had such days. The kind of days when you don’t dare speak to anyone, not even the kindy mums, because their simple how are yous will make you cry and you’ve already cried all night.
This morning, I said to my boy you know, I really can’t say ‘please get dressed’ again…I’m tired and sad and he said sadder than 100 lions and I said yes and he said sadder than ten thousand lions and I said sadder than I can describe. And so, he dressed himself, including his socks and a quiet hunt for his shoes and he made sure his brother had socks and then he said please can I help you make the lunch. He can’t possibly have known the significance of making the lunch.
And the day made me think, my mother – whose own mother died when all of us were young – never said to me I’m feeling sad, because today is my mother’s birthday. But it must have happened. That she felt sad. And it made me think of the lessons we learn from our mothers. They teach us how to be daughters and mothers ourselves. And goodness me, doesn’t grief go on and on and on.
I thought to myself, as I marveered the dressing table – marveer belongs to my memories of her – she would have had a party and it’s true. She would. And then, I realised, that I can’t really guess at how things might have been. Because where do you start? Do you assume the accident didn’t happen? Or did it happen, but…Where do you start with how things might have been?
And then, this afternoon, I cleared the mailbox and there was a card from one of her best friends and she said caught your gig on Raw. And that reminded me of how it was that night in Melbourne. Amazing. Truly amazing. But gee. There’s a lot of spaces you can anticipate. Having children. Your brother’s wedding. They are the spaces you know. But then, just every now and then, a really big thing comes along and out of nowhere you realise. She isn’t here.
We have shared in the last hour or so, the mister and I, a bottle of Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz. 1995. It’s very, very good. There’re only two bottles left. I say I notice that you’ve had your fair share because that is something he doesn’t always do, and he says well, it’s bloody good plonk I’m not going to let you scoff the lot and I say I believe the word is quaff, but he pretends to have his head stuck in the dishwasher. He misses her too.
Tomorrow will be okay.