Lovely day. Beth came early in the morning and bustled about the flat. changing the bed linen, searching (without success) for my mobile phone, washing, ironing doing any chore she spotted. There seems some incongruity about this highly successful consultant doing my chores, yet she does it cheerfully and without any fuss. Then we went to town and I was still a bit wobbly after we had done the necessary shopping and stopped for lunch and talked and talked, about faith schools – or not, about extended family, the NHS, the Premier league, Lisbon, confessing with guilty giggles that we both have been having similar thoughts about someone who is difficult. Sharing wonderful memories about visits to Hampshire when Alex and Hatty were small, and how calling doves and wood pigeons always to this day coo’ Do some more pushing’ because one sunny afternoon I was pushing Hatty in her swing and she kept saying ‘ Do some more pushing’ and her voice harmonised with the the sound of the birds.
Listen and you will hear the words.
I’ve sent post cards from all over the world because I always hear it and think of the three of us and that sunny afternoon.
I named her Siobhan Elizabeth, an Irish Queen for a St Patrick’s day baby and my two grand mothers, but within hours she had became baby Beth and Beth it has remained, though her Irish head mistress and our old Irish Parish Priest always insisted on Siobhan.
She has been my unending joy. I only remember one row that lasted about two weeks, the coldness did not the row and it nearly killed us both.
And one day I shall forget her. It is so hard to accept yet I know it is true. Yet it doesn’t seem possible, I carried her under my heart for nine months and she has been in my heart , so deep in my heart ever since. I have a recurring dream that she has gone to University and hasn’t said goodbye and hardly ever comes home and sometimes I have to ask her to remind me that it is only a dream and what really happened was that she went to Liverpool and I was always visiting, taking her and her friends for meals of ‘ joined up meat’ as opposed to the mince that was their staple. I think the dream is really about my fear of not knowing her.
But it will only be my diseased brain that won’t know her. My heart always will, though my heart has no words of recognition or ability to demonstrate love. My heart will know. Her heart will know.
I’m very tearful today, the last kick of whatever it was I had and the knowledge that special days like today will come to an end before I do.
But until that time we shall have a lot more.