Thursday, September 04, 2003
I'm Back In Town
Remember me? Thank you all for all those good wishes in the comments box: evidence of the community spirit this blogging nonsense is supposed to generate. Or maybe you just want a thank-you drink the next time you run into me. Whichever way, the Stellas are all on me. Genuine thanks again: it meant, and means, a lot.
What happened was my mother took a tumble at home Up North (far too many gin-and-tonics, I say; shut up, she says), and was admitted to A&E on Friday evening for a weekend operation. Things became complicated when it emerged the leg she'd buggered up was the same one she'd broken seven years ago (and which she'd then kept quiet about, to me at least, until a week after the op).
The thing which shook me up so much initially was that long-dreaded, out-of-the-blue call on the mobile ("Hello, Stranger, this is the hospital calling about your mother. . ."); their NHS-rulebook insistence I couldn't speak to her straight away (I soon bullied them out of that one); and my concern for the excruciating pain a woman, who had never deserved it, must have been going through.
But, above all, it was the horribly inevitable Intimation of Mortality. My dad died when I was young and I never really knew him. So, even though I've lived away from the parental home as an only child for almost thirty years, and rarely go up there, my mother's been the one constant in my life. If - and let's face it, when - she does go, it will mean that, whatever else is going on in my emotional life, I will finally be Alone. A Grown-Up Stranger at long last, living with regrets of never having said how he really felt, or given her the chance to see him truly happy. Selfish maybe, but there you go.
Anyway, the happy upshot of all this is that, while she won't be doing the can-can for a while, she has a nice shiny new hip to show off, provided by a nice (and very shiny) doctor (oh, those Northern boyz…); they're going to try and get her up and walking tomorrow; and this particular Stranger's been sent down to London with a flea in his ear for worrying too much. She's going to be all right, is my mum. And so will I.