Radio 4 Short Story: Do you believe?

I’m not one for talking about my personal life online – that’s another story – but on occasion something smashes that self-made separation.

Recently, it was the first year anniversary of my mother’s passing. Not long after came the news that an old friend’s mother had died, a woman I had felt very close to over the last 30 years.

This was followed soon by my mother’s birthday and then by Mother’s Day. All in a matter of weeks. It seemed mothers were in my air. My atmosphere. It was hard.

On Mother’s Day, I woke and decided to walk up Cave Hill. I thought. I came back and cooked a rare Mother’s Usual Sunday Roast for one. I opened the wine before one. I played Doris Day. I sang loudly. For hours. I sang for my mum. I sang in celebration. I sang in remembrance. I sang because of her. I sang in defiance of my neighbours. I sang in vanity.  I sang, as the saying goes, my heart out. There were not a few tears.

I woke to two messages on Monday morning. Both talked about my story Tickles, written in 2014, before my novel came out, aired again, without my knowledge, on Mother’s Day. The story is about a man visiting his mother in a home. She has dementia. She hugs him and won’t let him go. In that forced fit, he time-travels (we call it remembering), and finds that, although she is the one with the disease that dissolves time and memories, he is the one that had forgotten, the key to understanding the fracture in their relationship. There is pain, there is remembering and then healing.

I don’t believe in God. I believe in little that has not been in front of my eyes, at some point, and I’d have included that which fuzzes in the corner but disappears in full gaze.

Do you believe in coincidences? Do I? What is it I just felt? Is it a thing people call God?

Here is something I wrote. You can hear it for the next month.

 

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