The thought that one day I will just stop communicating with my siblings. I wonder how long until they notice? Maybe never, maybe with the same huge relief that I will experience.
Don't, says R, it would be a shame.
To which I reply: We don't have to like each other at all. But for now we need to look after the stubborn old man in his shiny car. And even that has become a competition. Sometimes, I imagine that my sister is keeping a tally sheet on who he calls more often. She is so mad at me, her emails are like little explosions. This family is my ongoing source of sarcasm and arrogance. We goad each other on and have become experts in snide remarks, well hidden in best wishes and little anecdotes. Whatever it takes to be just nice, I haven't got it. We never try anyway.
Sometimes I swear I can hear my mother hiss and clamor from her non existent grave. I told you so, you are all good for nothing.
Meanwhile, the Ice Saints are upon us, today is the feast day of Sophie with a harsh wind full of pollen and the odd drop of rain. R is out there weeding and digging and planting like there is no tomorrow., while I drink pots of tea working my way through the translations of the myriad novel approaches to breast reconstruction. Please, dear women: never miss a breast scan if you can help it.
Yesterday, I did a bit of my civic duty and stood behind a police barrier watching a handful neo nazis shouting their convoluted slogans of hate and fear. I tried to remain all dignified and grown up but when this grey haired hippy behind me started to shout, Oh shut up you assholes, I found myself joining in with wild abandon. I know, I know. It doesn't change a thing. But it cleared my head for better things. I hope so.
This is my mother before she became a botanist.