A Room with a View {the last days with your Mum, wrote this in October 2005 }

The view from this fourth floor window is amazing, no matter what time of day or night I come into this room, there is always a feeling of vibrant life beating outside this window, from the majestic ocean liners berthed in the harbour below to the white beaches that extened their sandy fingers into the rolling blue Indian ocean on one side and the green hills of the bluff protecting the city from the sea and storms sweeping in from the south on the other. Day or night there is always a plethora of activity across this windows vista – life throbbing in the semi tropical heat of this coastal city.

Up on the hill above the city is this building that houses this fourth floor window –a majestic old colonial building presiding over all others in its grandness and beauty. In its glory days it probably housed the governor general or one of his senior staff and was perpetually filled with visiting dignitaries for summer balls or afternoon tea parties in the garden, the halls would have been bustling with servants scurrying around preparing for daily functions while the lord of the manor conducted business in the numerous studies and annexes.

Today this grand building, housed on the highest hill overlooking the Indian Ocean in this costal city is home to a more sedate cliental, modern technology has weaved itself into the very fabric of its halls and rooms and the grand balls and tea parties have made way to a steady flow of people coming in and out to visit its occupants or receive help from its current owners. I have not always visited the forth floor room with its magnificent view , my first few days were down on the ground floor in a room filled with displays on which brightly coloured lines danced across the screens and soft alarms would sound alerts when thresholds were exceeded – calling out to the staff that something was amiss. This room was closed and sterile and people talked in hushed tones about probabilities and expectations and it would fill up and empty on a daily basis. It is a room where stern looking staff scolded visitors who scuff their feet or talked loudly about some topic or other and is unlike the calm tranquility I experienced when my deed required me to visit on the fourth floor above.

I have now spent many hours in this forth floor room with its majestic views, talking to no one as is the custom of the people who occupy this room with me, I am free to come and go whenever I like but choose to stay for extended periods of time. The light that filters in through the big bay windows has a calming effect on the people who can not leave and enhances the tranquil mood within its walls. There is no vibrant throb of life within this room, it has instead been replaced with, for some a silent struggle from within and for others a calm acceptance – my time within this room has been filled with silent pray and reflective thoughts of forty five years of understanding and love – trials and tribulations and the interwoven threads that make me who I am. The very essence of my being has brought me to this coastal city away from my usual day to day hustle and bustle in far off lands – I have come to make peace with the one person who never gave up on her family, who chartered a course and weathered many storms – who weaved a fine tapestry of many colours throughout her life and loved and laughed with passion and pride.

As I sit in this tranquil environment and watch her life slowly ebb away I can not tell what she is thinking or even feeling a she is unable to tell me. I do not know if she has the ability to hear my words or even know that I am here but it does not matter as I know why I am here and within this room with its magnificent views of the ocean and the hills – its calm tranquil light and its gentle occupants I have said my farewell – never again will I be able to call home to speak with her, to wish her a happy birthday or a merry Christmas, to laugh with her or wonder how she is when I am away, but I know that she lived a full life and gave everything she could to all of us when she was able.

The doctors tell me there is nothing else they can do, she may hold on for a day or more or remain how she is now for a while, she has no life as she would want it, its been replaced with plastic tubes and gadgets to keep her heart working as best it can. I shall soon leave this costal city with its majestic building upon the hill – away from this tranquil window with its throbbing life outside, but I shall always have the love and thought of her tucked inside my heart. If only she could have seen the view.


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