Rob took on the dishes left over from the last round of coffee, tea and treats with friends who spent the afternoon with us. It had been a wonderful time, sharing friendship, laughter, a delicious meal, and decadent fresh cream pastries and chocolate truffle cake--a feast!
Leaving Rob at the kitchen sink, I went upstairs to Rob's flat to get Bruce, and take him for his evening walk.
Dark was falling, and as I left Mum, she looked at the curtains, already closed, with a worried expression.
"Don't worry Mum," I assured her, "With Bruce along, no one would try anything. If they did, they would lose a few body parts."
She laughed, knowing that was true, and was reassured; although I knew she would not be at peace until I returned.
Off we went, on a half hour walk through the village and around some old and familiar streets.
The wind carried the plaintive chime of the church clock to my ears as I climbed a hill walked countless times during childhood and teenage years.
I soaked in memories, and felt as though the wind carried long ago voices on it too, as I passed the house I lived in then, looking at the lighted windows, curtains drawn, and imagining...It wasn't hard to fancy that I could open the front door and find our family "then" behind it. On this dark and windswept evening in the ancient village, with the same trees standing sentinel, as stood 50 years ago, the line between past and present seemed to blur.
Later, firmly grounded again in the present, I sat beside Mum's bed on a small wooden laundry hamper, knowing that I only had one more night to enjoy this time of evening; this hour of quiet conversation and comfortable thinking silences.
Mum swallowed several times and said that she had indigestion. I had slight indigestion too, after indulging in such feasting. And Mum had surprised us by having not only a slice of chocolate truffle cake, but eating a cream scone with gusto. Not usually a big sweet eater, she really seemed to relish every bite!
After a few minutes of us both being lost in our own thoughts, Mum spoke words into the silence that made me laugh out loud in agreement.
"It was worth it."