on being stopped in my tracks

you would think that brushing my teeth in the morning was a fairly safe sort of activity.  Such a routine chore this is something I do every day without much thought at all.  Today, in the middle of brushing, I was stopped in my tracks.

I have no idea why, at 8.30 am this morning while looking in the bathroom mirror, the image of my Mum appeared in my heart, so strongly I had to stop brushing my teeth.  Suddenly and for no rational reason I was back in the past, before she passed away.  I could see myself, pregnant, waving to her as the ambulance men carried her down the stairs, the very last time I saw her.

Then just as quickly images flew across my mind, my boys being born, starting school, my darling girl arriving and taking over all our lives. How the twins grew ever more alike as the years went on. The children starting and leaving school. How our family has grown over the years. How my baby girl grew into a kind and funny gorgeous girl, and how, a couple of years ago my eldest boy gave us the greatest gift of all, our beautiful Granddaughter.

I felt unbelievable angry and sad.  How dare life mean that my Mum has missed all of this. How she never got to read her Grandchildren stories, and how I missed out on the support and wisdom of the generation that went before.

Tears fell, as I stood in the bathroom toothbrush in hand.  What a start to the morning.  Eventually, probably just a minute or so later the moment passed.  I finished cleaning my teeth, washed my face and got on with the business of living this life.

You see this life is the one I have.  It is up to me to make the most of every single minute, to relish in family, in sunny days and in life itself. I have already had two years more life than Mum had,  I have read my Granddaughter hundreds of stories, played in the park and rocked her to sleep in my arms.  I am fortunate beyond compare.

It’s funny how these things ambush us isn’t it? You would think some thirty years on this wouldn’t happen, yet it does.  Someone once told me that you don’t ever get over bereavement but you do get used to it and find peace.  This is true.  It is also true that every now and then the emotions escape from that safe place they are stored in my heart and turn up in a bathroom mirror, while I am cleaning my teeth.

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