For part one, please click here.
For part two, please click here.
I went blank after that. I couldn’t think, speak, move or function in any way. I didn’t want to either. I wanted to die too. I didn’t want to wake up and know you weren’t going to be there any more. But I couldn’t do that. You wouldn’t have wanted that, would you? You needed me. You needed your mum.
Somehow, I made myself go and see you. You looked lost in that huge hospital bed, with your head covered in bandages. I stood there for a long time. I couldn’t believe it. Not my little girl. I kept expecting you to open your eyes and smile. I wanted you to sit up and talk to me, ripping the tubes and yanking the bandages from your head. I wanted you to tell me it was all a mistake. But you weren’t going to do that, were you, Jenny?
I stayed with you all night and the next and the one after that. I didn’t care about anything else, only being there with you. I talked to you so much during those long days. I told you how much I loved you and how I would always be there for you. I talked about daft things too and made up silly stories like I used to when you were small. Stories about fairies and princesses.
I even made up a story about a special daffodil. It was Mrs Farmer’s biggest one. I pretended to pick it and wave it over your head like the magic wand you used to wave over me whenever I felt poorly. Shimmering stars floated down from the daffodil, falling onto your head, working their medicine as they made you better. I was sure I could see them too. I think I had gone a little bit mad then.
‘No flowers, it’s hospital policy,’ the Staff nurse told me when I wanted to fill your room with daffodils.
So I held your hand instead and I looked round that room and imagined it was covered from floor to ceiling with daffodils. I told you about each and every one of them and just when I thought I really had lost it, the doctor came. I knew it was time.
I cried so much that day, Jenny, just like I’m crying now. I put the daffodil back in the vase, so very, very carefully. I smile through my tears and think of you.
A hand touches my shoulder. I reach up and grip it tightly.
‘Why are you crying?’
I turn round and look at you, Jenny. The scars are still there, but you are so beautiful. I close my eyes, still unable to believe the doctor’s words that day.
‘We ran some tests this morning and we’re astounded by her progress. I wouldn’t be surprised if she wakes up in the next day or so. They’ll be more operations and I can’t guarantee what’s going to happen, but she’s got a good chance of making it.’
I open my eyes and I can’t believe you are still here, returned home to me today. I can’t speak, but I don’t need to, do I, Jenny?
‘You put daffodils in my room, Mum. There are vases of them everywhere,’ you say and smile. ‘They’re so pretty. Can I hold one?’
I smile too and take a daffodil from the vase. I place it in your hands. ‘Of course you can,’ I say.