MIND THE MUMMY GAP
I have slipped into that gap before. Not so deeply nor so suddenly that I could not clutch the edge on my way down and haul myself back up, scrabbling undignified and tearful.
But when my mum fell into it, when the precious little bits of her life began to slide through her fingers so that she lost her grip, she plummeted into the dark, so low we could not reach her. So low it took her months and months to clamber back to the light.
She skirts an abyss. And we watch ever fearful that she might fall again. She does from time to time. I wonder: had she seen the gap coming, had somebody warned her, preferably some time before my youngest sister left home for boarding school: hey, look out, there’s a sodding great hole there, mind you don’t fall into it, would she have navigated her way around, left herself a wide enough berth that even if she stood back unaware, in an unguarded moment, it’d still be far enough away not to pose a threat?
I know how chilly its unfathomable depths are because Mum has described them to me, ‘It’s cold’, she has said, ‘and dark’. I only know that I need to watch my step because of her. It doesn’t mean I won’t fall too. But if you have been cautioned, Mind the Gap, you might, just might, have time to plot a course around it.
I’m working on a story. About gaps and direction, madness and motherhood. If you, any of you kind readers, could bear to link to this, I’d love to hear from anybody who is familiar with sidestepping gaps. Or not.