November 21st, 1989
I was surprised to find mum in the kitchen this morning when I finally got home, after landing was delayed by almost ninety minutes due to severe fog and congestion. The passengers were not happy campers but I was still floating high after unexpectedly seeing David at the airport.
“Hello, mum,” I said, kissing her cool cheek. “How are you?”
“No so bad, hen,” she said, squeezing me hard.
I lied and said, “You look a bit better.” Her hair was matted and she seemed unsteady on her feet.
“Why don’t you sit and let me make the tea for a change?”
“Aye, ok,” she said, looking distant.
“I’ll make toast as well,” I offered, in my best cheery tone.
“Where have you been?”
“Yeah, we landed a few hours ago but the traffic was terrible.”
“I never knew you were in Chicago.”
“Didn’t dad tell you where I was?”
She shook her head. “Dad’s no very happy with me at the moment.”
“I’m sure that’s not the case.”
“Aye it is.”
“Why do you say that?”
She started to cry.
“Oh mum, it’s alright, please don’t cry.”
My instinct was to move towards her and comfort her but I felt she needed some space to let the tears out. It was a few minutes before she spoke. “Dad was adamant that it’s time for me to go into hospital.”
“And you don’t want to?”
She shook her head furiously. “I never want to go back there.”
“I know, but…”
“But what?” she asked.
“We just want you to get better.”
“I can get better here.”
Sensing the last thing she needed was a lecture, I said, “I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so down. I know it’s really hard when you feel like this.”
“I’m trying my hardest.”
“I can see that, mum. You’re up. That’s a good sign.”
“Do you think so?” she asked.
She sniffed back a few tears. “Dad said I’m like a zombie.”
“He only said that because he’s upset. He didn’t mean it.”
She sighed. “Aye, I know.”
“This is hard on him too.”
“And you,” she said, not looking at me.