It comes without warning sometimes, the intensity of missing my mother – and today it has swept in with the wind and the rain, leaving me feeling raw and exposed.
I still find that the various losses in my life – whether in the distant past, those that are still fresh, or even those that are merely impending – are emotionally intertwined in unpredictable and complex ways. Sometimes the triggers are obvious; at others subtle enough to leave me grasping for answers, muddling cause and effect.
In eight weeks, after seven and a half years in London, we will move back home to South Africa. This is mostly a very exciting event that we are eagerly looking forward to – to be close to our families, to have a morning view over a lush green valley rather than endless streets and houses, and even a sweet Saint Bernard puppy named Sparky waiting to charm us.
What I really want right now, however, is my mother: at the end of an email or Skype video chat, to get excited with me, to give me sensible packing advice, to help us find solutions to the remaining problems we haven’t yet solved, to understand that leaving behind this wonderful city and all the friends we have made here has its own sadness, and most of all my mother waiting for me in Cape Town, so we could spend another Christmas together at last.