Wednesday, 31 May 2017

I Outlive My Mother

I've just worked out the number of days my mother lived.  It's 19,166.  I then worked out the number of days I've been alive.  As of today, it's 19,166. When the identical number popped onto the screen, I felt momentarily ... well ... weird.

19,166 days is approximately fifty-two-and-a-half years.

I've never calculated the number of days anyone's lived before.  To do it, I used my favourite search engine and entered 'calculate the number of days between two dates' and found (should you ever feel the need to do the same).

And why did I do this today?  It's not as if my home is clean and tidy, and I have finished writing all the poems I want to write, and that novel, and sorted out all the bags and boxes still languishing in my loft since my move last year.  It's not as if I had nothing else to do. 

How I got to this point is this:

Walking back home this morning, my younger son pointed out a sign in Shrewsbury town centre for the Race for Life.  "You could do that, Mum," he said.  When we got home, I signed up for it, and, as part of that, Cancer Research created a sponsorship page for me.  I thought of the people I know who've died from cancer, and those who've lived through it, and those living through it, and of one  friend in particular.  And I thought of my mother who died of breast cancer, and because I've had some awareness that I'm approaching fifty-two-and-a-half, and because I've got a day off work, and because I am very creative when it comes to putting off housework, I've been idling around on my laptop and in my musings.

From there, where I've got to is this - that the significance of the 19,166 days I've lived equalling, for this day only, the number of days my mother lived is about the alignment of some things.

What aligned today is significant but not because of that number.  It's more to do with my son encouraging me to take up the parkrun; his interest in my progress; our going shopping on a day in half term; our walking back a particular route because of the particular shopping he wanted to do; his noticing the Race for Life advertisement; his prompting me to sign up for the run.

The alignment is to do with the love we and his big brother share, and within all that, our particular love for music - a love he'd also have shared with my mother, a pianist, whom he never met, but whose material substance somehow shines through him in a way that belongs only to him every time his fingers, long as hers were, play over the piano keys, and every time he smiles his smile, which, like hers, is a bright shaft of sunlight illuminating and soothing whatever any day's sadnesses might be.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this links to your project - letting in the light!!!

    I can imagine that shaft of pure sunshine - it clears all the black clouds away xx