Saturday, 29 March 2008

In lieu of

I'm very much like my mum.

When my mum fell pregnant with me she didn't know anyone else expecting a baby. The midwife told her that Penny at number 73 was pregnant. So Mum went and knocked on the door of number 73, introduced herself and so started a great friendship.

This was in Pelsall near Birmingham and we moved to Devon when I was four.

Mum and Penny kept in touch, writing frequently. I remember Mum sat in her chair in the sitting room writing sheets and sheets to Penny.

I'd love to know what was in those letters. I imagine there was family news but I wonder how much emotion was written down. Did she share hopes and worries, joy and frustration?

I can spot Penny's handwriting. I received birthday cards every year from Penny, Cliff, Julia, Simon and Drew and they were always written by Penny.

Penny has died. She joins her husband and my mum. It's at times like this I'd really like to believe in an afterlife. Penny was bereft following the death of her husband. I'd love to think they're together again and I'd love to think about best friends being reunited too.

Mum can't be there for the funeral but I'll be going. I'll be going partly for me, but mainly for Mum.

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