On my own
My father was never able to talk about my mother without tears of love and wonder, warmth and admiration springing to his eyes, even when she was alive and simply in the next room.
The last time I saw my mother was in hospital. She was lying on the bed while I massaged her legs. I knew she was in terrible pain. She said, ‘I’m outa here. This is enough for me.’
‘What do you mean?’ I wanted to know.
‘This is the last time we’ll talk. I have no intention of going back home again.’
‘Are you going to kill yourself?’ I asked.
‘Yes.’ She spoke calmly. ‘And you’re not going to do anything about it.’
I put my head very close to hers.
‘I need you,’ I told her. ‘I’m blind now and I’m on my own and I need you.’
‘Well don’t,’ she replied, quietly and firmly.
I always did what my mother told me, so that was the last time I saw her.