I sit up in bed on a cold autumn morning, and I can see that the sun is shining, the clouds are moving. This is the first morning in a couple of weeks that I've woken up feeling even vaguely like a human being, with a still beating heart, and perhaps even a future and a purpose. It's a feeble flicker of it, but it's there.
Mum has stabilised, at least for now. The doctors still aren't sure that it was definitely another stroke or whether it was a fit that made her lose consciousness like that and her breathing so laboured. As usual, it's a deathly mystery. And I guess that means, after preparing for the end, once again, after going through all that trauma, we're back to where we've been for the last two years. Waiting.
So when next week comes, I'll be winging my way back to Brighton. Sunny, happy Brighton. Home of the creative and free-spirited. It sticks in my throat like too-sweet candy.
I'd like to run away from Brighton, up sticks and sod off to London, where my course begins next week. But I know that won't happen, and that instead, it's the swallowing of reality of life in Brighton for now, of waiting for things to change.
I stare into my crystal ball and don't like what stares back. I remember the forces around me that are good, the ones who care. I see the tree outside my window is still standing, waving its branches at me. It is solid and still growing.