I wasn't there but this was how I imagined it. Mum and Ginny sitting side by side on the couch that Tuesday night. It was late. The TV was on. No sleep between them.
So sitting there, that night, their hands touching, and Mum’s grey hair pulled back and with a glass of wine in hand and both in their nighties, and Ginny wan and struggling and Mum feigned-cheerful and struggling and Ginny with her self-effacing bravery,
the strength that had seen her suffer through the first weeks on her own, not wanting to make a fuss, not wanting to impose - except now neither of them could fake, Amber had called, Carrie and her were on a flight, would be home from London in thirty hours,
and it was just another nail driven deep, events careening out of control, the speed of events fucking terrifying, four days, a flu, a virus, a death sentence and soon, the family gathering, the shroud of shock evaporating, and as they sat that night and were sleepless Ginny whispered, “Mum, I’m scared.”
What did you say to that? Mum would not have known, none of us would. Except, we were scared too. Maybe Mum told Ginny there was hope, always, though there was no treatment plan, the family gathered, it was obvious where this road led,
maybe she talked of God, of his plans, of faith, or maybe it wasn’t that way at all, maybe it was the way where Mum wept, softly, and Ginny comforted her, they were side by side on the couch and Mum’s head on Ginny’s shoulder and Ginny telling Mum it would be okay, except they both knew it wouldn’t, couldn't be, it was obvious where this road led,
and maybe Mum begged forgiveness for moving away, for leaving, though Dad was ill, needed to retire, wanted out of the big smoke, nobody could have known, and maybe they both thought of the visit of Ginny’s friend Melissa that afternoon,
Melissa who had seen more of Ginny than the family over the last few months, they were close, had bonded, and how they, Ginny and Melissa, had sat on the couch and held hands and not talked very much, but we all saw how desperately Ginny clutched her hand, and we all felt the aching finality in the room - feel better, soon -
and maybe it was all of those things or maybe it was none of those things but I do know Mum and Ginny talked and talked true that night, admitted, reconciled, and Ginny told Mum what she regretted were not her undone dreams but the future family celebrations, the missed Christmases and weddings, the nieces and nephews.
And how she wanted to write letters to us all, I know she told Mum that. And when I think of Ginny I think of how her sadness were not of herself but of us, and I think of those letters, and I wish, wish there had been time for her to write them.
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