My father is king of the grand gesture, so he is armed with Easter eggs from Fortum's and a very extravagant birthday cake for me from patisserie Valerie. He has changed only in that he has put on weight and appears to have morphed into his mother. Not necessarily a good thing, but I get the feeling his medication doesn't help and of course what is the point of watching your weight when the sword of cancer has already pierced the body.
So we had a chatty lunch after a meander around the Courtauld Institute. So good is the art work and the Mondrian-Nicholson exhibition in fact that I had to go back the next day!
So my father lives in a modest one bedroomed flat, he seems to spend most of his time out, the flat sounds dreary and functional. He is clearly making the most of his life by immersing himself in all things cultured in London, theatre concerts talks you name it he is there plus he is holding down two jobs, since learning to speak fluent Mandarin he is in great demand. He lives apart form his wife yet see her regularly, she got her passport, he got companionship and someone to drop off food parcels once a week.
In stark contrast my mother who briefly contemplated London and all its treasures, has settled near friends, seeking the touch of familiarity. She has nested and and created an environment to hunker down in and see out her remaining years with the last skerrick of sight she can cling on to.
You may think I too obsessively crave the sights and sounds of London, I spend enough time up there, and yet walking he dog I reflected that if Emin did not come home, I too would have the house decorated and fit for purpose in a year. Emin suppresses all I hold dear, and so to save my sanity I escape and chase something that probably does not exist. Which is the best way to live? I don't know really, but the price of a relationship does seem high sometimes. Is my future his future? Like my feelings for both my parents I will never know, because it is all buried so deep, compartmentalised and stored neatly away to be aired another day.