Wednesday, July 18, 2012


It's a busy life, being a sandwich. Baby and mother are hot but fine. My own mother, however, not so good - water retention, general weakness, resulting in a trip to Emerg today. Many phone calls back and forth - should I come this minute? Well, maybe. She was admitted back into the Heart Institute and one doctor seemed to be predicting dire things. "If it becomes necessary, should we resuscitate?" he asked. So I cancelled everything for the next few days and waited to hear more, ready to fly at a moment's notice.

Phone call at suppertime: they have her on a diuretic, she's feeling much better, things have stabilized, she had a good supper. A good supper! Music to my ears. I am flying there tomorrow in any case; as old friend Suzette, who came for supper tonight, said, "You will never regret the time you spend with her now. It's the time you don't spend that you'll regret." My friend Isabel from the south of France has been staying here all week and will be here till Sunday, and my engagements have been cancelled, so for once, it's easy to get away.

Isabel and I watched a rented movie called Poetry last night. As I joked at the Y to my friend Paul, who specializes in action movies, "It's just up your alley, a Korean film with subtitles about an old woman with Alzheimer's who wants to write poetry." He laughed. The film is long and moves slowly but is beautiful, and the central performance is stunning, Oscar worthy. Not a GUY film, though. 

Yesterday was deadly - brutal, 36 degrees, a wall of heat. I rode my bike to visit my friend Jane in hospital, and nearly expired en route. Jane ... well, it's an incredible story, inspiring, almost unbelievable, except that it's true. I'll tell you about her one day. But right now, I have to go and pack.

I'm off tomorrow morning, leaving Isabel to water the garden and feed the cat; I'll be missing get-togethers, a class, lunch with a friend, a singing lesson, various visits. But I'll be there. Because, as I realized today - of course I've realized it before, but it really hits hard when it does - that when my mother is gone, she's not coming back. I will never hear her voice again or fold her frail body into a hug. I will never be able to call her up and hum a few bars of music I've just heard on the radio and ask, "What is that?" The two of us humming together, figuring it out. I will never help her choose clothes, worry about her diet, her heart, her living arrangements, ever again. Suddenly, doing those things, worrying, choosing, are a blessing, a great, great blessing.

I'm coming, Mum. Wait for me.


  1. God speed. Beth.


  2. Sally, thanks. I love that expression God speed. I'm sure Google will be able to tell me where it comes from.
    I'm just home, drained from it all. Well, that's life. b.