Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The last time….



I come into a room and the scent sends me back in time, tumbling into childhood and and for a fleeting moment I am there and everything is safe. 
Scent does that to you - it is evocative. 
I pretend that it is my grandparents visiting me, reassuring me in my own home a place they never visited, a place they never saw let alone knew existed.
I shouldn't be surprised that I can smell them or at least the scent that reminds me so strongly of their house for I have inherited much of their furniture and bits and pieces. A trigger when I am scared taking me back to a time when I was unconditionally loved and knew it if only on a sub-conscious level.
But the thing that gets me most is not a scent but a touch, a touch of fingers pushing my hair back behind me ear.
My youngest son does it and I am immediately transported back to the bitter sweet time when I remember her last doing that to me.
 ...and I see her watching me as she lies in her bed. Looking at me as if for the first time in her life and I see the wonderment on her face. She looks at me as if I am a rare gift, something beautiful and precious. Her hand is cool. I do not look at her as such, I watch the television at the end of her bed, embarrassed at her scrutiny.
We do not talk.
Her hand drops to the bed and I pick it up and hold it and don’t let go. And as the night progresses into morning I rearrange the covers, she grows hot and cold and tosses them off one moment and demands in a child’s voice to have them back the next.
I calm her when she gets agitated and hold her hand again. She says she needs to do: " Tuppence" then says plaintively that she is thirsty.
Something I don't-know-what in the tone of her voice makes me anxious and I swiftly pad to where my parents lie sleeping - all awaiting the inevitable yet hoping that it will never happen.
I wake my mother and she is given a drink. She takes first one sip like a child having to be supported then another and lets out a sigh and I know immediately that I have to run.
I have to get Daddy. I have to get her son.
I’ve had my precious moments with her and it is his turn now. I fear I maybe too late, I fear I haven't been quick enough.
He enters her room and watching from the doorway I see his step falter and his shoulders sag and I realise I am looking at a motherless boy.
So every time someone does that to me I remember that day and that night and the long wait, which I greedily kept to myself, but most of all I remember the love that linked us all.

8 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

I remember the scent from a bag of mum's clothes I had sorted out for a charity shop following her death. It was quite overpowering, as though she was still with me - which I guess she was.

Bluestocking Mum said...

What a beautiful piece of writing, Tattie. It really touched me.

No-one knows this (until now) but when my Nan died a couple of years ago I kept one of her old waistcoats and often wear it when I'm writing. However I've never washed it. I can't bear to wash away the musty, tweedy, Helena Rubenstein 'Apple Blossom' scent of her...

xx

Mud said...

Wonderful, touching writing. Thank you.

Rob-bear said...

An amazing story, so well told. Thanks for sharing it.

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Connor Harley said...

It touched my heart in anyway possible. Awesome. Just wonderful.

Suburbia said...

That made me cry...

Pondside said...

That was beautiful, Tattie - a lovely piece of writing, straight from your heart.

Go on you know you want to...

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