Mothering Sunday, the systematic torture of being forced to celebrate the mother I never had. She is but a shell of her former youth, wrinkled and bitter in her condemnation of life. There is nothing but hatred evoked in her glare as I bend down to put my arms around her, feeling hollow inside. Wiry whiskers brush my cheek and I pull away, busying myself with potting the flowers I have bought for her. petunias have always been her favourite. ‘They don’t give up and die so quick,’ she would tell me. Neither do you, I would often think. My mother never loved me. I felt the coldness of that every time she punched and kicked me as a ten year old who had just lost my father. In 89, the first man I ever loved died whilst serving in the military. Her pinched face turned happy at the opportunity of hissing this news into my face with a Cheshire grin any cat would be proud of.
Her slow, raspy breathing conforts me as I realise she is getting tired of life. Not long now Mother. Her chair rocks gently and my mother, the shell, continues to look on into space and time, unconcerned with my presence. I often stare at her in these moments – trying to locate her humanity, but the person in front of me seems no longer capable of it. The chair slowly rocks to a halt. I feel her life force leaving the room and it fills me with a relief I had never expected. The only Mother I will ever have just left my life and all I feel is gratitude. Gratitude for the end of her mind control and utter spitefulness. Her hatred of all who were different keeps me from crying as I kiss her a happy Mother’s day and goodbye.