Saturday, 11:30. As I drive up to Monte the sun does it's utmost to glare me off the road. I fumble for my sunglasses and momentarily forget I should be driving on the right side of the road. There are no oncoming vehicles, but a group of men outside the pub notice my error and look at me, open-mouthed, in disbelief at my incompetence. I smile and continue, with retinas adjusted and comfortable behind the protective polaroid lenses.
I love this particular drive, but now, it also fills me with anguish. It is the route I used to take when visitng my mum.
It's been 5 months since her untimely death - our unwanted separation that is harder to accept than any other separation, before or since.
I'm presently decorating and tiling parts of my brother and his wife's home. The home attached to my mum and dad's home.
I walk across the garden and look through the window, knowing there is no one in. I open her front door to get some sugar and instantly feel overwhelmed with sadness and a sence of her presence.
Her belongings are still on display: her framed photographs decorate the walls, serving as a constant reminder of the loss I feel and portraying part of the life's history of a very special and irreplaceable woman.
One of her life's legacies - me - standing still at the entrance, teary-eyed and empty despite feeling her presence; weighed down with the unimaginable pain of her loss.
I miss her so much.
If she were still here, she'd have been busy keeping me watered and fed as she always did. She would have been telling me about all the extended family's goings-on, the dynamics of our large DNA-bound group.
She would have complained about the politicians too,the ones she concluded used public office as a mealt-ticket. And about the innapropriate content of our day-time television. She would probably complain about dad's refusal to take her out more often than once a week.
She would have made laugh. She would have also gently reprimanded me for smoking - for drinking - for all the late nights.
I loved being reprimanded by her. After all, I knew she cared as deeply for me as I did for her. It wasn't criticism, never, just plain motherly advice that more often than not went into one ear and out of the other. But the mere fact of her words bouncing around my head, always seemed to induce a sense of well-being and gratification that nobody else's words can ever match.
I like being here at the house, despite, or maybe even because of, the constant and painful reminders of a time gone by.
Gone but never forgotten.