Mother died yesterday
Mother died yesterday. It was the single entry in his diary for November 9th. November 10th read, “There is one thing in this world that is constant; life isn’t fair.”
Well, who says life is fair? He thought. Where is that written? Life isn't always fair. What has been my basis of comparison?
Ben had been thinking about the events of the last month and had attempted to seek solace in writing his diaries. His best friend Claire had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the age of twenty-one. She had undergone an operation that had removed one of the two melon size tumours that had been on her ovaries, the other had already burst flooding her bloodstream with the cancer. Both her ovaries were then removed and she almost had to have her womb removed. She had then undergone a quick burst of radiography followed by three weeks of intense chemotherapy.
Who said it was fair that Claire was now very unlikely to have her own children. Someone who would make a far better parent than some drunken, doped up pathetic excuse for a human being who would have nothing better to do with their child than stump cigarette butts out on its bare skin.
After reading the diary, Ben thought fondly about his mother who had died at the all too young an age of forty-seven, ultimately to the deathly hand of breast cancer.
His parents had divorced almost five years prior to her death citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce. Ben was fifteen. Within six months, while his mother was in hospital having a hysterectomy, she found a lump the size of a grape on her left breast.
She fought for four years after having a mastectomy, experimental medication, chemotherapy, and blood transfusions. She lived long enough to experience the joy of his sister, her daughter, getting married but only a year after that she died, just ten days after being remitted to hospital with a low blood count. She lived for her final year with Ben’s sister, who, playing role reversal nursed and looked after her mother. By the end, she was weak and looked like an old woman of twice her age. Old at forty-seven! She was outlived by her own mother who was seventy-seven at the time. ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ He thought.
Only one year after her death, his sister gave birth to the Pattison’s first grandchild. The child that mother would have so desperately wanted to see, was born without seeing her mother’s mother. She would have been a natural grandparent, would have doted on the little girl who would have so looked forward to visiting her grandmother.
What more could a parent ask for, to see one of their own continue the line, to have a child that they could spend so much of their time on and love in a way that they had never been able to love their own, and to finally see their family come full circle.
Ben couldn’t think of anything that his mother would have rather done than to retire early and spend her life being a nanny to her grandchild. She loved her family, devoted her life to her children and that in the end, had been the cause of the irreconcilable differences with her husband. Ben figured that like most mothers, she would rather have her children than the man who gave them to her.
Only six months had passed since his mother had been buried when his grandmother, his father’s mum, was diagnosed with lung cancer at seventy. She hadn’t smoked in forty years. A year later, she was dead.
Where is it written that life was fair? Why the fuck not! Ben was angry and sad. For the first time since the death of his mother, he was angry that she had been prematurely taken away from him. Oh, he had cried at the time, for endless days he had cried. However, he had never been angry about it until now. The shittiness of what had happened to Claire had finally made him mad. No, he was now far beyond mad, he was pissed.
He wiped the tears from his eyes and looked up to the skies. “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani.” He cried. “That’s your own child talking to you as you allowed him to be pinned to the cross to try and bring the rest of your prodigal children back into the fold and worship their ‘father’. “ He spat the word out. “‘My God, my God. Why have thou forsaken me?’ Indeed, why the fuck had you? How the fuck did you allow all this to happen? Fuck you and all those who sail in you.
Were these acts over the last few years meant to be my test? Are they meant to show me how powerful you are and just what can happen if I don’t believe? Are they some sick way of enticing me into your club? I got news for you pal, you’re not endearing yourself to me! I never believed in you before this and I sure as hell ain’t gonna believe in you now. You can stick it where the sun don’t shine.”
Ben, sat silent for a while, his body slightly trembling with the aggression pulsing through him. The tears once more rolled down his face as he started to laugh. “I don’t even believe in god and I’m having an argument with him!.”