My relationship with my mother was a conundrum of mislaid emotion. She constantly told me that love was not saying but doing. Based on that my mother did everything she could to satisfy all my rational and irrational needs. And she sacrificed a life to give me a good education.
My mother and my young wife got along well, probably because both were constantly doing something, one for her son, the other for her husband.
Both were reticent about showering me with caresses and kisses. Only once do I remember my mother saying, “Rosemary adores you. Do your best to respect that.”
Forty nine years later I cannot live one day without needing the presence of my Rosemary. Today I dropped her off at the University of British Columbia Hospital for her scheduled operation to replace her left knee at what would have been 12:45. It is mid-afternoon here in our Kitsilano home and I feel completely lost.
It seems that the dishwasher (only Rosemary uses it) is not loading up with water. This could be a cycle problem but I have no way of checking the manual as only Rosemary would know where it is.
Our lovely queen-sized bed looks larger than usual. Rosemary’s Casi-Casi is on it and I don’t have to share with him that we both miss our mistress.
Perhaps to while the emptiness of the afternoon, I have scanned a few circa 1970 negatives featuring Rosemary, my mother, and my in-laws. In one you will note that Rosemary has the most beautiful legs you could possibly gaze on any woman.
Rosemary will be back Thursday afternoon and she has vowed that she will not wear pants to hide whatever scar she may have. I approve of this as her legs, scar or not, are supremely beautiful legs. I will be her nursemaid for a while. Perhaps I can apply my mother’s dictum that love is not saying but doing.
I will do my best.
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.