It’s Sunday morning and I’ve done all the usual Sunday morning things. I woke a little before 8 and got up to make my morning latte and to feed Rigby. In between I let him out to gallop down the driveway, have a pee on the nature-strip, before claiming the plastic wrapped Sunday newspaper from my hand and carrying it back into the house for me, as per ritual. Back in bed with newspaper and coffee I listened to the 8 o’clock news before unwrapping the paper.
Though mum has been dead for over 18 months now I still feel the urge to pick up the phone to call her. That’s never stronger than on a Sunday. That’s the day itself I think, in some ways. Though it’s officially the first day of the week it always feels like the quiet culmination of it. Sundays, for me at least, are quiet, restful days. The mind slips down a gear or two, there is no rush and little bother. More often than not on a Sunday I won’t even leave the house. Sundays you turn inward.
It’s also habit I think. Without really knowing it I got into the routine of calling mum every Sunday morning after I had finished reading the paper – about 9.30. I’m not ready to get out of bed and so I reach for the phone. When mum was around it was her I would speak to. She probably came to expect it – I’ve heard stories since from others of mum proclaiming ‘that’ll be H’ when the phone rang in her presence. We would talk about everything and anything. It was unscripted and easy flowing. For me it was the ideal transition from bed to the real world, and I reckon I must have been true to that routine for years and years on end. As much as anything there is muscle memory that has yet to be played out.
I still feel that urge, but of course mum is no longer around to call. Instead I lay in bed feeling a little lost. I think of other people I can call, but none appeal. There seems no-one I can have the same conversation with that I had with mum. And, obviously, no-one with whom I have the same relationship. It’s like this every Sunday.
I’ve said this before I think, but let me say it again: I miss mum.