Thursday, October 25, 2012

RIP – Johan Lindsay Hutton

“I (we) always knew this day would come but that don’t make it better” –

“Don’t Fade Away” -by Andy Shernoff

I hope my friend doesn’t mind my using a slight twist on his lyric here but it captures the feeling around here pretty succinctly. My brother Iain and I finally lost our mum last night after months of her grappling with cancer. In the end it was some kind of infection that seemed to seal the deal and this is neither the time nor the place to ponder that.

Aside from the shell-shocked-ness of the actual event, my senses are working overtime. The anxieties of the past couple of weeks seem so futile now and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that we feel relief for her. Mum was dealt a bad hand in this game of life palaver.

Her god-bothering days never seemed to be taken into account at any time of her going through this. A good Christian, someone who would do anything for anyone, I guess she and my father did enjoy some glory days in their twilight years. When asked how they were I would often say that they gallivanted a lot more than me. Garden centres and cafes all over Scotland must be feeling the pinch in recent times in addition to the enforced austerity.

Mum loved animals and cats in particular. More than she did people.

I took her to the hospital on January 6th of this year and she hadn’t been back in her own house since then. Why she couldn’t have had a bit of quality life after dad passed away, I just don’t know. The urge to flavour that last sentence with an expletive is strong but I’ll try to retain some decorum.

One of her early jobs was in an electrical shop here in the town. It was called McLaughlins and they sold records. That’s where the first 45 I ever got came from – “Fireball” by Don Spencer. So I guess that maybe lit the blue touch paper.

At this point everything is kind of numb. I remember taking her to the Hippodrome for her birthday a year past last month. After that, the wheels well and truly started to come off. The positive aspect of her illness was that she seemed to be blissfully unaware of just how bad it was until this past two weeks. She was generally bright and she just let fly with whatever came into her head. Sometimes that was funny. Sometimes it was toe-curling. We couldn’t help thinking about how mortified she’d be to see herself like that.

But that didn’t stop us trying to wind her up to keep the engine running.

So Andy’s words really chimed with me. Ahead of the actual event they almost prepared me for the inevitable but that really doesn’t make it better.

Thanks to our extended family across the planet for their positive vibes at this peculiar time.