By Alice Browning
My mother no longer believes in Happy Endings.
Her allies lie in a deep love that was poisoned by an unthinkable hurt, breathtaking lies and a full bodied loss.
Her forever abruptly ended, he left shrouded in a cloak of cowardice and was welcomed straight into the arms of his part time lover.
She had been waiting in the wings for over a year, a patient and persistent understudy relishing the moment she could step on and take up centre stage.
My mother had questions, he refused to answer.
Instead, he labelled her crazy for having suspicions, unhinged for checking his phone and in need of help when her life of 30 years, as she knew it took a dramatic turn and she in dark, turbulent waters could not see a lighthouse.
My mother no longer believes in Happily ever After.
I have been very gradually, over the past 3 years, spoon fed a diet of mistrust, on my tongue it tastes familiar and comforting.
In my heart, it's a deliberate drip of poison that I lick clean from a plate of toxicity.
In my relationships, it’s an invisible wall, a barrier that builds an avalanche of foreboding in my chest.
My mother’s words, her intentions, have always been to keep me safe, they have never led me astray.
She would never harm me, would she?
My mother’s own protective mechanism is clouding her maternal judgement.
Her sorrow, a heavy cloak that I bear half the weight of upon my shoulders. A burden I choose to share as a show of solidarity to the woman 36 years ago who writhed silently and solo in a hospital room, as my father smoked a spliff outside. A woman whose love for me has never faltered , so how could I leave her high and dry in her moment of radical brokenness?
She will return to love, as we all eventually do.
In the meantime I acknowledge these chapters of lying, cheating and loss are not the final chapters in her memoir.
It has been the bulk of my mother’s torrid tale, but, like any great story, she is the heroine waiting to make her comeback fierce and with more fire in her belly and love in her heart than ever before.