Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Daughters Will Have Your Heart Broken
I didn't tell her for a while, Himself did, in an email, but Merciful Jesus prevented her from receiving it, because she is old, has got a new car that she keeps locking herself into and could not get herself out of the car and in to the library to look at a computer.
My brother Francis eventually broke the news to them, after treating me to a lecture about the sin of divorce, and she then settled in to an enormous state of worry, which was relayed to me via skype, email, text and increasingly threatening phone calls from my siblings.
Eventually, under pressure from Francis and even Maud (who was gettting it in the neck about why I had absconded to east africa) I rang her. You'd have heard more life in cadaver, the voice she had on her.
'Hello Ma, It's Noreen. I'm in Africa'
'I heard. How are the children?' (this is typical. I could be being eaten by a lion, or gang-raped by the whole of the Masai tribe while I am on the phone, and she is only interested in the grandchildren)
'I believe they are fine. Himself is looking after them very well'
'Are you still losing weight?'
'I am still skinny yes - I think it was the stress of leaving'
'Well of course I knew. I just knew that it was emotional. There was no way there was anything physical wrong with you, you've the constitution of an ox. I said to myself 'It'll be to do with her marriage. She always gets thin when there are problems'
'Why didn't you say anything to me then? I had to go and have all those fecking tests, and there you were, telling me how you are a martyr to your thyroid and it was almost certainly the appalling health that you had suffered your entire life coming to bite me on the arse in middle age. You could have just said 'are you unhappy, Noreen'
'Well of course I have been incredibly stressed these last two months as well, probably more than you, because I was thinking you had the cancer or possibly even something worse'
'I thought you said you knew it was stress? And what is worse than cancer?'
'You know perfectly well what is worse than cancer, and the way you carry on, it may yet afflict you' (I think she is talking about HIV or something 'social' like the clap)
I let her go on a bit and then she started to try to figure out the name of the country back in the dark ages, and whether she had once owned a stamp from there, and what it said on the stamp, but do you know what she did not do? She did not tell me that someone I hardly knew had died. So there you have it. If you want your Irish mother to stop harping on about the departed, leave your spouses and move to the third world. That is all.
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