Precious Lives

Precious Lives

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0099275740

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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possibility of this being the beginning of a whole sequence of calamities – no, it was the end. He’d made a silly mistake in allowing his wrist to be fractured and he would not make it again. On 15 June, three days after the plaster was removed, he was back in the garden, tidying it up. He walked carefully round the spot where he had tripped up (it was now precisely marked and cursed for ever), trailing his rake behind him. I sat on the bench and watched. He raked a flower bed, using his right

over, I wondered just how long even a determined person can go on, and why they would continue wanting to. I hardly dared to mention the word ‘hospice’. Hospices were for the dying. If I suggested Marion went into a hospice it would be interpreted as a sentence of death. But I knew hospices were not just for the dying. I knew, through a friend who worked in one, that they were also for respite care for those suffering from cancer. Patients could go in for a couple of weeks and come out again. I

pointless speculation was. I stayed motionless in the dark, without switching on the lights, until gradually I got a grip on myself, and started to worry instead about the damage I’d done. In the scale of things, a wrecked car and garage surely didn’t really matter. I wasn’t hurt, nobody was hurt, and that was all that mattered, wasn’t it? It was merely an inconvenience and in no time at all would become a funny story. I could stand the jokes about my driving, couldn’t I? Of course I could. There

confidences? I wanted her to say something, anything, about what was in her head. I wanted to listen and respond. I wanted guidance from her. But maybe I should start the talking, confront the horror of this death sentence head on. I knew she despised those who were cowardly about facing up to tragedy. She’d always spoken with pitying contempt of those who shunned the dying. Someone in her office the year before had been diagnosed with Aids, and she’d scorned those afraid to touch him, making a

still recalled from her childhood when her mother had sung them to her. Most of these songs were painfully suitable, ballads of lament and sorrow, and one especially was fitting enough to make us, listening, feel raw with the grief of it when she sang the words – The Four Maries (about the death of Mary Queen of Scots): I ha’e but just begun to live, And yet this day I dee; Oh tie a napkin owre my face, That the gallows I mayna’ see … Their Scottish heritage was so important to Marion and

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