I am blogging about the day mum died.
We were in the Highlands of Scotland on holiday.
I had seen my Mum as usual the weekend before we left. She has insisted I go on the holiday. I told her I would come back to see her on 3rd September. She was adamant that I must not come back until the 4th.
As the car started up, I looked through at her bedroom. She held her hand up. I was keen to stare at it and to remember every line.
I went home and into town. I kept finding myself stopping. I could not focus. I could not function.
A spoke to my husband and asked him to visit my Mum. She had not seen him for months as she did not want the children to see her getting worse so I would visit her and he would stay at home with our children.
He went and stayed the night. He told her he had come to see her. She made us both smile with her response. “When I saw you, I thought there was something up”
We went to Scotland and as I left home I had the strangest feeling I would come back after Mum had died.
The holiday was odd. We had fun as a family but were attached to our mobiles for news from my Dad.
One night, we went into the garden of our holiday cottage and someone was playing an accordion at the neighbouring cottage. I suddenly found my husband in tears. I think I had said something like “Mum would love that”
I wanted to go to Cromarty. Mum had always listened to the shipping forecasts and I loved the names.
One morning, my husband said we could go to Cromarty that day. I barked at him. He did not understand why. By now I had decided in my own mind that Mum would die the day we went to Cromarty.
A couple of days later we made the visit to Cromarty. I remember sitting and watching dolphins in the sea that day. coming to terms.
I got a text from my brother late that night “Phone Dad – urgent”
In that moment, you think maybe if you don’t call, it won’t be true.
“You know what it will be” I told my husband.
I made the call. A Marie Curie nurse answered calling me Catherine. Things must be serious. She put my Dad on who said “Your Mum passed away at 10 to eleven and it was peaceful”
Ten to eleven – so many nights she would have left a variety of clubs at that time with Dad either with her or waiting at our front door anxiously.
I lit a candle because that is what you do when you are brought up a Catholic.
My oldest brother phoned to see if I was OK.
My two older children were in bed.
My youngest had fallen asleep on the sofa.
We were obviously distressed. At which point my son burst out laughing in his sleep, a real chuckle. A message from mum that life and laughter should go on.
I slept alone that night and sobbed most of the night. I got up early, cleaned the house and we made our way back to Yorkshire.
I arrived on exactly the day when my Mum had told me to return and my Mum was dead. Stage-managing things until the very end.
R.I.P. Mum – I forgot your anniversary this year until late at night. I am sure you would have had loads to say about that. Love you.