October 13, 2007
Opening the door into the dark evening I saw an amiable, well mannered young man with a child and another person. They were looking for the hospital. I pointed in the general direction of distant lights some way ahead but not too far to walk. I happily told them there would be signposts once they got over there.
The evening was black but the woodland trees and shrubs, glossy with sticky rain were reflected in moonlight and a bubbling brook stumbled its way across my view.
Seconds after closing the door it threw open again and Mam almost fell inside. She was breathless as if in a hurry and the sticky rain had coated her hair. Much younger than when we last met, her hair now dark in little damp tendrils. She said “Sorry, I have missed two days but I’ve been depressed”. I told her I had been depressed too, at which our eyes met and I saw her questioning gaze. I sensed the quest for life in her, the yearning search for truth, the excitement and joy of living, the urgency to get things done. The momentary comma in our dialogue.
“I need a book from the library about 16th Century Church of England,” she gasped. It was a strange request and out of the blue but I didn’t dwell on it and instead, struggled to remember opening times at the library. I looked at my watch. It was 7.45pm and I looked out into the darkness again, at the distant lights where the library and hospital were. I looked more closely at the brook now and saw that it had swollen, growing wilder and louder with the sound of thrashing water. Moonlit-cast reflections danced in riotous play and I saw in silhouette, the rocky stepping-stones I needed to cross if I was to get to the library. Was it safe? I took in the nocturnal landscape, noting the culvert into which the rushing water vanished and then the phone rang.
I woke up.
I’m so glad Mam came to visit, even if in my dreams… but I do wish the phone hadn’t rang… Love you Mam, always will and miss you.