Monday, April 04, 2011

In memoria matris

I found my mother asleep on the sofa when I got up to go to church one Sunday morning at 7.30 am. Only she wasn't asleep. She was dead. Or was she dying? We'll never know for sure, any more than we can ever know whether she intended it.

It was before the days of mobile phones and before we as a family could afford a domestic phone at all. I ran off down the street to ring for an ambulance. But how fast do you run when your mother is dead or dying? And how patiently should you wait outside the call-box for the person in there to finish? And how do you live with the thought that if only you had taken less time your own mother might have been saved?

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