Unwanted Gift, Unwanted Guest

After penning a narrative yesterday about my dad, who is a poorly chap at the minute, I was heartened to be the recipient of kind feedback, along with good wishes from family and friends.

Amongst this was a request for me to write more about him (Mally) as “…he seems a really nice guy.” This request surprised me a tad as it came from my mum, who’s been married to him for 56 years!

I was equally taken aback that my mum (Maggie) had read one of my blogs, prose which she ordinarily avoids like the plague. I get the impression she deems it as literature that should be confined to a lexicological graveyard, along with contemporary footballers autobiographies and anything by Jeffrey Archer.

I recently gave her a copy of my first self-published book Dreams We Never Chased. The book is a small selection of emotive and at times sentimental blogs written from the depths of my heart…… Well, really my dining room table or a hospital waiting room.

As I passed her the tome containing creative thoughts from her eldest child’s random and erratic mind, she gratefully thanked me. Deep down though, her look indicated inwardly restraining herself from saying “It looks a right load of s***e!” or “That’ll come in handy for the wonky chair leg in the kitchen.”

On handing her this collection of my inane rambles, she sighed ungratefully before shoving it in the living room cupboard where she keeps bees.

A few days later my brother Ian visited my parents, from Gateshead. As I hadn’t seen my accident prone sibling since he last broke half of Maggie’s crockery and glassware in November, I ventured over to see Cheesy (as we nickname him) for a catch up.

On arrival at chez Strachan senior, I walked into their neutrally decorated living room to be met by the sight of a roaring fire, a tea stain on the carpet and our Ian sitting, covered in bee stings, reading my book.

Raising his head from the pages of my work, Cheesy turned to me and inquired “Can I have a copy of this Gary?… It’s good!“

I smiled in gratification at his compliment, responding that of course he could.

Just as I was about to inform him that I’d bring him one next time I saw him, mum interjected “He can have that paper back copy, Gary……. Me and your dad will wait for the bone china edition.”

If truth be told, I was wounded that my mater was giving my younger sibling the work I’d bequeathed her. However, I did accept her reasoning that as my parents didn’t have a wobbly table leg to stabilise at the moment, so Cheesy boy would appreciate it more.

I wasn’t sure she meant he’d appreciate it more from a written content perspective, or whether, unlike them, our Ian had a wobbly table leg back home in Gateshead that would benefit from having the book jammed underneath.

Maggie also reasoned circumspectly that with the book consisting of paper, not bone china, it  would be more suitable to leave in the hands of her clumsy middle child. Prior to sauntering over to the bee cupboard to replenish the kitchen’s honey stocks.

Right then, it’s time to venture out so the octogenarian can receive his final radiotherapy. A day he’s longed for since its commencement at the end of November.

He has had a torrid festive period, but hopefully the six weeks of treatment he’s endured will give him some respite from the discomfort spitefully administered by this rancid disease.

Well done Mally!……. You’ve been a trooper!

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