It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m back at the family home again. There is something almost Georgian about the scene. It is still and quiet but not entirely so: the clocks tick, the soft notes of a piano can be heard distantly from somewhere in the house and occasionally the weak cough of my father. A cough with hardly the strength to clear his throat. The cough of a dying man.
Mum sits next to his bed in the dining room. She does a tapestry as Dad stares at the ceiling. Mum remains buoyant, chatting away making observations or filling in Dad on snippets of news. Whether he takes any of it in or not none of us can tell.
And what about me? I sit alone in the sitting room trying to read but not for the first time in my life I feel out of step with everyone else around me. Dad is on the final leg of his journey, Mum is dedicated to caring for him, my siblings have families and have bought family homes. This focuses their minds.
I seem to be a bit stuck in the past. The boy that hasn’t grown up. An anachronism. And I think I love that. Sometimes. However, sometimes I don’t know what I am doing with my life. Always wondering if I should be doing something else. Don’t we all? I expect so, especially in middle age.
Need to move on from this stage of our lives.