It was so long ago and yet hearing her voice made it just yesterday. Just yesterday when I was living with them and all their children. I couldn’t remember all their names. It was good to hear her voice. I always loved her gentleness. I cannot recall her ever shouting or raising her voice. So steady. So balanced. She just got on with it. All those endless meals, one ending and another being laid ready. All that sewing, mending and cooking. A quiet voice. An understated voice. What did she make of my mother? I’d like to see her, to see them. He’d only been given two days to live, she said. Imagine that? What resilience, I said. What determination. What a determination to continue. Was it fear of losing her? Of death?

It’s going to be a sunny day, today, he said by way of consolation. I am all agitated. I cannot say why. My body is fighting, jarring, every edge, every corner jagged. So be it. Let it be. My hips are tight, no movement, no going forward. Let it be. Let it all be. Pain is a great teacher. I get to know my body. What am I fighting?


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.