The most unexpected thing happened yesterday morning (Thursday). My son’s asthma had been ‘off’ for a few days and I had had to keep him off school. I was concerned that he seemed to have developed an infection (which he has – he’s now on antibiotics) so I made an emergency appointment and took him to the doctors. We had to go to a surgery we don’t usually attend, because the surgeries in the area have merged and so we have to take appointments wherever we can get them.
Fastforward. I went to the reception desk to let them know we had arrived and when I started to move away from the desk to find a seat, someone called my name. At first it didn’t register who was calling me, a man in his forties was sitting on the end of a long seat and looking right at me. It didn’t click for about two or three seconds and then I said ‘ Ohhhhh Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!’
It was my ex brother in law who I haven’t seen in about 9 years or so. He was ,and I presume still is, the very nicest of the four brothers, one of whom I had married (now annulled).
Now bear in mind, I left his brother because he was violent and I had absolutely no idea how he would think of me after hearing only his brothers version of why I left, for the last 9 years.
I then looked to his left and who was sitting next to him but his mother! My ex- mother in law!
Now no offence to any italian readers or their mothers, but ours was a stereotypical relationship…italian mother in law and english woman in a ridiculous power struggle over the same man…her son, my husband…yes, in truth…it took me a year to tolerate her, another two to like her and to get her to like me, and the other three remaining years of the marriage I completely adored her! It was so hard to leave her son without saying goodbye to her.
Without thinking, I did what came naturally to me, not knowing if I would be rebuked, I smiled at them both and then I walked over to my ex mother in law and kissed her, and she moved along the seat to make room for me and my son.
As we both waited for our appointments, she took my hand in hers and she told me that I was the daughter she never had, that she loved me, that just because I had divorced her son, didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends…it was so good for me to hear her say that. She was teary and quite overwhelmed I think at seeing me after so many years.
We used to have such a laugh together, she has an exellent sense of humour…she still has…
As we sat together , we talked of many things. She asked,
‘Why you no come up see me?’
I said, ‘Antonietta, getting divorced from your son made things a little bit difficult, (we all laughed at that)…and anyway, I wasn’t sure I would be welcome’
‘But me and you, we go so well together’, she said.
‘Yeah, I know” I said, ‘I missed you more than I missed your son after I left him!”
We laughed. As much as we could. Our discourse certainly provided some entertainment for the many sick patients waiting in the surgery alongside us!
I promised I’d go see her soon, and you know what? As bizarre as it might be, I do believe I will.