I’ll stay beside you and comfort your soul, when you are lonely and broken and old.

I think the concept of time being able to heal is a bit of a fallacy. What it infact sometimes does is just patch things up a bit much like wallpaper over cracked plaster.

I had the mother to visit this afternoon. We had a nice lunch at Bacarro and a glass of wine because now I am 29 years old she can just about handle me drinking in front of her. Sadly this precipitated her bursting into tears on the hoe because apparently Walthamstow dog track has closed and the nice charity people predict a plethora of homeless greyhounds in London and the surrounding area and perhaps we should goand fetch one but that would be silly wouldn’t it? No, I don’t think so. I think thats a great idea and I tried to talk her into it to no avail.

This outburst segued directly into ‘i look at the lonely hearts in the paper you know’….’but then i think no one could ever replace George so theres no point really is there?’ And also ‘well what would a 68 year old man want with a woman? (companionship??) – someone to cook his meals i don’t doubt!!’.

Furthermore ‘well anyway you have to text something to somewhere and i don’t know how to do it anyway so i couldn’t reply anyway’

So i said ‘shall we look at them together next time i come home and i’ll see what you have to do?’

‘yes alright then’ ( a bit more brightly)

I’m not quite sure really whether the answer is a dog or a date or none of the above but after mum went home i sat down and cried and cried.

21 Responses to “I’ll stay beside you and comfort your soul, when you are lonely and broken and old.”

  1. onestepbeyond Says:


  2. Lisa Says:

    It sounds like you’ve got her going in the right direction, at least. It sounds like she just needed a little help and came to the right place for it. đŸ™‚

  3. hoverfrog Says:

    The Who. Sister Disco.

    Very sad. At 68, given the benefits of modern medicine and healthy living she could last another 20 or 30 years. So could a potential mate. I’d hate to spend 30 years alone so it is right that she seek some sort of companionship.

    Really though shouldn’t she look for friendship first and hope that things blossom. Working for a charity might extend her social network and expose her to new contacts, any of whom might spark an interest. Also, if she is feeling isolated, social contact might dispel that funk.

  4. pinkjellybaby Says:

    oh, I think she could find a lovely man for company…and also, greyhounds make good pets, they don’t moult much and don’t need as much exercise as you’d think x

  5. sungirltan Says:

    hf – re paragraph two i think you may be right. re three, the mother has an exhausting schedule of charity commitees, local good causes (tree saving was one i kid you not), is president of the WI and also works part time as a tour guide, taking coach loads of fat americans over the moor to look at the old walls or the art in st ives of all the bumpf about lorna doone up on exmoor (you get the idea). she also goes to film societies and history groups, pottery classes and some other thing. (appreciate your adice though – now if we could just make my middle sister listen and get herself a life…but thats another story)
    i think it might be that here was all of this and yet george was just something special on his own. its just not enough.

    pinky – yeh we had one before and it died about 6 weeks before George (of old greyhound age and quite instantly) mum misses her terribly but resists the commitment of another dog – actually i think shes just worried she wont like it as much etc.

  6. hoverfrog Says:

    I like trees. They deserve to be saved.

    How about a cat? Less loyalty than a dog but less demanding too.

  7. sungirltan Says:

    we have two, they are contrary little buggers.

  8. hoverfrog Says:

    Yes. Cats. I thought “contrary little buggers” was part of the description.

  9. sungirltan Says:

    although since the genius suggestion by my mad aunty of replacing all the door handles with the round door knobs they have been foiled lately.

  10. Amie Says:

    Awww i think it gets harder for mums as we get older. Not only are we getting on with our own lives but they are looking at our lives and comparing there’s to ours. Even though my mum has a partner they still don’t live together and I think she gets lonely. It’s sad and I don’t really know what to do. I feel for you xxx

  11. sungirltan Says:

    thanx amie. yeh i spose it was similar to your mum til G died. i reckon mums go through a second broody phase when they become grandmother age and if we dont have kids they dont know what their role is now we’ve become just about self sufficient.

  12. Sal Says:

    Re the dog thing, I think it might not be that she’s scared she won’t like it as much, but she’s probably scared that it will eventually grow old and “leave her” and she doesn’t want to face another grieving process.


  13. sungirltan Says:

    sal – yes that is also a valid consideration – it was so hard last time. we have a neighbour who routinely buys/aquires a puppy when the grown up dog gets a bit old and rickety and swears this alleviates the grief/guilt about getting new one etc. wish id pressed this issue but the dog may have died of terror if we’d got a puppy!

  14. punctuation Says:

    Just to put a brighter note on this: on the 8th of the 8th this year my dad and his “new” girlfriend moved in together at a new house they rented. He is 70 next year, she is…68. They are sickeningly in love and both seem blissfully happy.

    I have no idea if she considered adopting an unemployed greyhound first.

  15. punctuation Says:

    p.s. Some Americans are blonde and sexy.

  16. trixie Says:

    It’s hard getting old, and especially watching it happen. My mum is nearly seventy, and I am practically the highlight of her week, speaking to me on the phone. She’s been alone since my parents split up 30 years ago. I really don’t want to be like that, but feel I might!

  17. Fabulous Says:

    aw hun. Its hard when you look at your parents and realise that they are getting older right in front of your eyes.
    You know what maybe a dog would be better. At least she wouldnt have to wash and iron clothes, cook meals etc. Too much like hard work.

  18. sungirltan Says:

    trixie – yes that is maybe the case for me too and i often feel terribly guilty that i dont spend every spare minute with her but on the other hand i think shes happier since i decided to do something more interesting with my life and go back to school.

    fab – well yes i think the dog might be a better option for now but the two things were so intertwined. we knew george was dying for over a year before it happened but i think the dog eased my mums suffering by quite alot. she was my mums constant companion and she would just sit by her all the time with this look that said ‘you are all i will ever need in the world’.

    i looked up the Retired Greyhound Trust and sent the link for the local branch to my mother just in case it tempted her. she phoned up and said ‘whats this spam you’ve sent with lots of letters and then ‘northdevon’ in the middle hmm??

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