Tuesday 2nd August 2011
And I am late, I who am never late. I got home late last night from dinner with my mother and was just too tired to gather my thoughts together to write my little blog. I am rather enjoying it, after a fashion.
My mother, do I hear you enquiring? The real dark horse of my Story, when all along I had assumed it was my father. And unlike my father, she was there all along. Looking back I am amazed that I was so unaware of her all those years in Putney. Maybe unaware is the wrong word, it was more a case of taking her for granted, and of course, taking for granted that she was quite unimportant in my life, whereas maybe she was silently looking out for me. If so it is of little consequence now, as whatever caring role she may have thought she was carrying out, I was totally oblivious of. And, as you know it did not stop me from rushing headlong into mistake after mistake. And she could have said something occasionally, some kind word of reassurance, some friendly advice, some motherly, or even sisterly confidences. It seems I have had to manage without any of that friendly female camaraderie, for Grandma was in no way a comrade, a brother in arms, No, Grandma was always far too aware of the difference in status between us to have let me feel an equal to her. She was friendly but always in a slightly condescending way, making sure I was in no doubt that I was a junior partner in our little enterprise. And then as she began to loosen her grip, as she became old and poorly, I had already slipped away from her. And when those dark days after Paris descended on us, I was almost happy not to have to talk to her at all. And where was my mother with her quiet solicitude then? Nowhere that I could discern! Nowhere at all, and that is the problem I have always had with her, she is so evasive I find it quite hard to locate her most of the time. She never seems to phone me; that, apparently, is my job. And when we meet, she never really enquires about my life, what I am up to, who my friends are and such like. I find that just as last night, I am left to do all the talking, and just as when Grandma used to dominate the conversation, even now my Mother is happy to sit quietly, lost in her own little world no doubt, while I prattle on and on about my life,
Re-reading this, I do sound rather bitter. But no, I was never bitter, just so disappointed with her. What irony to have a real missing father and an even more real missing mother. No wonder Grandma filled the vacuum with her overwhelming personality.