Our family of three was now four, and Dad made five, Chris’ niece had just given birth to a beautiful daughter, this particular week had now become hell, Paddingtons arrival and my dear Mothers death were badly timed, my Dad was on autopilot, funnily enough the days prior to Mums funeral were manic, thankfully it helped, Chris and Spike went off to his family, the newborn was very poorly, so as the per in these instances family rally together.
Mums passing was not as we had planned, it’s all very well wishing a cinema screen demise with candles, chosen music and at home with family around, it was never going to be like that, this was different, ours was a busy take in a hospital ward, life continued to operate behind our small curtained off bed area, family, what few we were all sat waiting for the final curtain call, people went, others came, knowing stares and hushed conversation was exchanged amongst us who waited.
Late on Thursday afternoon, my Mothers death was to be peaceful with the aid of strong pain relief, it was administered, briefly she opened her eyes, smiled and resumed her sleep, never to awaken, I saw her chest move slightly, and a small breath escaped her, I was holding her hand, caressing gently, suddenly, I realised what had happened, we tried hard not to sob out loud, everyone on the other side of the floral curtains now knew the situation, all went quiet for what seemed like an eternity, in fact it was probably just a nanosecond, the ward resumed its business, and we, as a family, had to resume with our lives.
Within an hour, another patient, occupied the same bay in the ward, oblivious to the fact that they were actually laying on what was previously a death bed, and we, that is my father and i were setting out on a new adventure without the firm navigator who had steered us on an even course for over fourty years.
My father had a habit of driving everywhere in second gear, so irritating beyond belief, however, he made full use of the gearbox heading back at warp speed to an empty house, no longer a home.
We made no conversation on that journey, however our silence turned into shock and then immediate laughter realising that our newbie, Paddington, which to be honest, we’d forgotten all about him, he was stood on my fathers chair, tail wagging and not an ounce of destruction to be seen anywhere,
I do believe my mother must have had a quiet word with him.
You might think that a strange statement to make, but, the following week proved to be all rather spooky.
So, the *three musketeers* were now aboard this motherless ship, Paddington at the helm steering haplessly and barking out the orders.
In a few days the two missing crew members would return and insanity would pursue, we were now unstoppable, it was to be our mechanism, as were copious amounts of hot tea.