This year’s summer has been at best mixed. The later part of June was hot and this extended into the Wimbledon season lasting for the duration of the tournament. Since then the English summer has gone into its traditional sulk with some days being overcast if still warm.
Last years, as I was part way through my first set of 'Wilful Walks,’ I took my mother, now eighty six, and my youngest daughter with me to Colchester; we caught the train there which proved to a forgotten but delightful way for us all to travel. The walk from the train station to the centre of Colchester is maybe a mile and a half, possibly two and my Mum, apart from three stops, made it all the way if a little slowly. We had a nice day and I gathered much needed information about the Britain’s first and last capital.
One year on and my mother’s emphysema has progressed at a steady and worrying rate. She now finds it difficult to breathe when weeding her garden, a job that is no job at all to her but a joy. She recently caught a cold, a pretty unpleasant thing but just a common cold, which caused her breathing to worsen and sent alarm bells ringing through mine and my families hearts.
I find it all so sad to see this woman, of whom I owe my life in more ways than one, slowly deteriorate as age and her illness start their relentless, remorseless process.
Seeing her looking so frail is as unpleasant a thing as I can think of, largely because the fact of life and its conclusion seem all too imminent, but it also makes me realise, albeit it belatedly, that life needs to be lived as if each day is our last as we won’t be coming this way again
Ironically, today is the birthday of my eldest child, my beautiful Thumbscrew nee Emily. I remember still the day she was born and the simple delight of her birth that seemed such a tiny miracle. Today Thumbscrew is twenty seven and has found a modicum of success as a Cardiac Physiologist.
I used to make myself into a climbing frame come slide for her and she would crawl up my arms to slide down my back and legs. Time does pass far too quickly and I so wish I could have those days back again.
all words and art are copyright © of C.J. Duffy.