My father and my brother have made notable appearances in The Blog, since its creation in France three and something years ago. But my mother ...
Yesterday I went to see my mother, for one day and one night. Going to see her is not a case of popping next door. Richmond, where all the Gallas family lived during my college days, and where mother now lives again, alone, is 4 1/2 hours drive from Gerolstein. So I set out at 5.45am, to escape (mostly successfully) the holiday traffic. It is a pleasant drive, through uniformly attractive -- though in no way startling --New Zealand farmland and forest, and the nine hours spent at the wheel went most painlessly.
Pain is something mother knows all about. A few months ago, at the age of 87, she took a fall, broke her arm and crushed two vertebrae. Since then, she has lived in pain such as she has never known. But now, she felt sufficiently strong for a little visit from son number one...
Although I tried hard not to think about it, I expected to find her terribly diminished. That is to underestimate my mother. All six stone of her. To my delighted surprise, I found her looking if anything brighter and better than on my last visit, twelve months ago..
As you can see, for a lady approaching her 88th birthday, and in possession of all her faculties and a good few extra, she is rather remarkable.
Love you heaps, mum.