I have the best Mum in the world.
I realise that there are some other people out there who consider they have the best mother in the world. They are wrong.
So, given the simple statement of fact above, it is perhaps a little odd that the Mater has had barely a mention in this here journal, to date. The point is, of course: I have been saving her for something special. And this week qualifies.
On a simple, short, shopping trip last Tuesday, she steps out of her car, trips over a small stone and crash lands on the rock hard monoblocking of a Tesco car park. Ouch! This is the day, of course, when my phone decides (without so much as a "by your leave") to have a morning off, so the first thing I know is when Mrs WeeKeef manages to get hold of me at work, to tell me that the Mater is currently in an ambulance, being whisked off to hospital in Fife, with the Pater in hot pursuit.
Long story short: she has a fracture of her left foot – 5th metatarsil – and the worst bunch of scrapes and bruises I have seen in a while. She is battered and sore as hell, but managing, in person and on the phone, to sound much her old self. A second visit to the hospital on Thursday confirms that the break is not too bad, but she will be in plaster for at least 3 weeks, and on walking sticks and out of driving action for some time longer than that. This is the woman who, despite her own health issues and not being as spritely as she once was (to say the least), manages to look after the Pater, do 98% of the household chores, and dashes backwards and forwards across the Lothians to watch over Auntie M.
There was a point on Tuesday afternoon, while trying to think through how I was going to keep all of that together for them, plus work, plus singing, plus Xmas, when I simply could not put all of the pieces together. A perspicaceous acquaintance used the word "overwhelmed", and it described the feeling perfectly.
But it will, of course, all work out. Being part of a family means re-setting occasionally, moving the goalposts, shifting priorities, filling in the gaps – doing what needs to be done. And doing it willingly and happily. What she needs, and what we all need, is for her to make a full and speedy recovery. All the rest is just detail.
And she is still the best Mum in the world.