Mother, I’m so sorry it’s been such a long time since I visited you. The thing is, Amy is becoming such a handful, and it’s only been since her ninth birthday last month. You know, the other day, she broke the vase you bought me for my twenty-eighth birthday. Do you remember? The blue one with red spots? Of course, she blamed it on poor Sam. He’s nearly five now. He tried to bite Amy, you see, and then Amy, such a sly girl, started to blame Sam for everything. It’s quite chaotic at home, Mother. You’d put them both back in their places, I know you would. They miss their Granny. It’s really only me, Amy and Sam. David’s so busy with his allotment. He’s practically married to his vegetables! He misses you so dearly. You know, he considered you more of a mother than his own. Oh, I wish you’d come home, Mother. How you would gasp at my children’s behaviour! And David would get such an earful. I do feel for him, though. He’s not dealing with his grief very well. If only you could come home for just one day and…no, I’m sorry. I came here to be with you and to listen to the band. I brought your favourite: black pepper crackers and cream cheese, a flask of Earl Grey tea and some tangerines. How’s your bad back, Mother?
“Excuse me, may I sit here?” a thin, old man asks, leaning on his walking stick.
“Oh, of course.”
He sits down in Mother’s spot, and I stand up to leave. Mother needs somewhere to sit, and I can’t very well tell the old man to hike over the road to the other bench.
“Don’t leave on my account, it would be nice to have some company,” he says.
“You’ve already got some great company sitting right next to you. Meet Margery, my mother.”