This time three years ago, I was still recovering from a long overdue Christmas and New Year’s hangover. I can’t remember much of any of the nights out in my hometown Pontefract, except for the probability that I ended up in Big Fellas, carrying my usual three-for-£5 bottles of VK around at one time, revelling in my own traces of vomit, and attempting to dance to cheesiest club tunes on the planet.
My drinking at the time was escapism: It was coming up to three months since I lost my Mother to cancer, and I had attempted to live my life with very little delay. When the doctors informed my family and I that her last days were approaching, she was transferred from Leeds General Infirmary to the Prince of Wales Hospice, where she was cared for until her eventual death.
At that time I never once cried, and to this day I still think there must’ve been something terribly wrong with me. How cliché it must sound for me to say this, but she really was the perfect Mother any human being could ever ask for. She tucked me in at night when I was a small child; read through my English coursework when I was a mid-teenager, with the determination to correct all my grammar; and wiped away my tears after I had first been heartbroken by love, giving me hope that one day I would find someone that cared for me as much as she so did.
As a beautiful, caring individual, she smiled in the face of others, no matter what their attitude was towards her, and she always went out of her way to make sure they were happy — she believed having a positive attitude was what life was all about. She worked, earnestly, 9-5 at least five days of the week, in Leeds, and would come home each evening and unwind with the love she had for her husband Colin; and four children, Andrew, Rebecca, Holly and Alice.
I was her first born — her only son — and I was nauseated by the selfish world that took her away from me. Generally speaking, Colleen was an individual that lived up to everything society asked of her: She ate all the right foods, went to the gym three times a week, refrained from using profanity, and believed in God. And at 47 years old, how could anyone have judged it as her time to go?
It wouldn’t feel right of me to say “Rest in Peace” when society has lost such a charismatic and genuine individual. Instead of sleeping, it is my ambition to make sure that justice prevails through your life living through the rest of the Carrington family’s days. We will never forget you. We miss you, and will always love you.
(And it is now, sober, that I finally cry for you.)
– But, Mother Knows, my debut collection of poetry is available to buy in paperback form or to download now via http://www.andycarrington.co.uk/butmotherknows