She arrives looking smart, same age, same hair, same person. I’m surprised at this. I thought she’d gone forever. She’s guarded, distant. I’m sad.
“Why did you leave us?”
“I had to”
“You can’t come back. John’s* remarried, he has children. We don’t need you now, you’ll have nowhere to live. “
“I know, how is he?”
“He’s really happy. He has a lovely family”
She doesn’t seem to want to hug me, tell me it’s all going to be okay and that she’s back. Because she doesn’t really seem to want to stay.
Besides, how would she fit in now. It’s been far too long. Our lives rebuilt, we all moved on. She lives in our past.
She looks sad now. She says goodbye.
“Goodbye Mummy” I say.
This dream creeps up on me every couple of years. Always the same. The sense that she’s just too late. She left us and she shouldn’t have. But to come back now when everyone is different can’t work anymore. Her husband, my stepfather, has moved on.
I don’t know why I have it. She loved us more than anything and certainly wouldn’t have left if she could have prevented it. But she died.
She had breast cancer. I miss her everyday.