Back and forth to the hospital all week. Driving Jules. She is staying in her mother’s house, her childhood home, trying to come to terms with finding remnants of the girl she was all over the place. A hairclip made in France in the bathroom cabinet, old but free of dust. She used to pull her hair to the side and pretend her name was Juliette. The clip has poppies on it – purple, blue and white.
A doll is there. A porcelain face with a Victorian-style dress and a bonnet. The hair is soft, like real hair, as if the doll used to be human. The little eyes follow me around the room.
In the garden Jules’ mother’s poppies grow, standing like an ensemble of dancers, swaying slightly in the wind. They are yellow and orange and white, cheerier than I expected.
Jules is reading to her mother. It is easier than forcing her to talk. She has lost the power of recognisable speech. It is like watching a songbird writhe on the ground as its music is plucked from its throat.
The book is one of mine. Wuthering Heights. One of my favourites and one of Jules’ mother’s too. I never knew it. It has left an odd feeling in my heart that she and I should love the same thing. I don’t know if it’s good or bad but I wish she had wanted something different. I am not entirely comfortable with her thinking of Cathy and Heathcliff. Imagining them and the moors.
People are all over the hospital. Mostly quiet. Mostly waiting. Sometimes the best way to deal with pain and suffering is silence. The waiting helps too once you get used to it, it pulls a strange type of patience out of you.
There are poppies in the hospital flower beds. Red and white. I wonder why I am being followed around by poppies and books that mean something to me and also to someone else. Someone I never thought would care about such things.
It is a time for thinking and waiting. The poppies are bright amidst the day which could be endless if you let it. I look out the window and wonder what it all means.