A Mother’s Worry.

Pinnacles on Ocean Island

Pinnacles on Ocean Island

As a man, there are things you can write to your father that you don’t write to your mother.

The next letter  to my grandfather was different and the tone changed.This was a man to man letter. The language was looser, less formal. He described the hardship; hacking at bush; of sweat and dirt; the mining and how it worked; of cableways; crushers, dryers and storage bins and pinnacles of phospate. It was a dry, harsh landscape and it sounded less than tropical island idyllic.

In contrast the next letter to my grandmother talked about his broken watch which he was sending back to her to organize repair. He told her of listening to the amateur hour and about his housemate. He mentioned that he’d cut his leg falling on some steps some weeks prior; that it had become infected and that he had gone to hospital for a few days. He told his mother not to panic, “The leg is quite ok now, so don’t go worrying.”

What a bombshell that must have been. She found out well after the fact.What must she have been thinking. Like most mothers she would have worried. Isn’t it built in as soon as you’ve conceived? If a child tells you not to worry, that’s when you worry. I’m surprised he confessed. But was this because there were bigger issues brewing on the island?

This was a pattern in his behaviour that I recognised. Even when he was sick and in his last days he didn’t want any fuss and tried to hide the reality of his predictament from his family.

I wondered what else he was leaving out.

3 thoughts on “A Mother’s Worry.

  1. Esperanza Pretila

    I’ve always thought highly of my mum’s father, too. Although his last years weren’t a life of affluence that you would have expected if you’d known his past, he had a life well-lived. You’ve just given me an idea of writing about him one day, too. Thus, thank you for your succinct yet still compelling piece.

    Like

    Reply
      1. Esperanza Pretila

        I could see where you’re coming from. I constantly find more things to write about my family, too. I haven’t done that for my grandfather yet, though.

        It’s great to note how much you’ve accomplished in our world of the written word. I admire that.

        Thank you for the well-wishes as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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