This is deep and hurting thanks for the woman who stayed home to bring up four siblings, and keep contact with the one who went elsewhere, being too young after their mother's death to stay. Later she didn't sit in the wistful Mill thinking about life's parallel potentials, but went back to school, and then to Art College and then to work in days when Sailorstown girls didn't fly in the face of convention on gold-coloured Vespas, clinking heavy amber rings on the lightly touched brakes. She decided with the irony of arthritis setting in just as her true life set out that they would journey together.
Thanking the God not quite trusted by her that she would pack up the thin small namesake and travel her along too, not overly concerned that Macbeth at the Southbank might be frightening to an eleven year old or that forming a critical opinion on Rembrandt and Picasso could ever be expecting too much. For sunsets over Florence and boat trips on the Rhein.
For all the books for my literature degree that were already on her shelves and in her head, for the long talks and walks and dreams, for the huge picture window that poured hot sun, for thoughts and thinking and wrestling and truth. Freedom.