Dad arranged for me to collect him at 10.00 and take him to Barwon Heads to collect legal documents from his friend who had been acting as both Lawyer and Power of Attorney. His friend was no longer able to do this as the chances that he would die before mum and dad was high since his cancer diagnosis.


Mum said she wouldn’t come as she had shopping to do in Pakington Street. I asked how she would get there and she told me her neighbor would drive her and then she would meet us for lunch at the French Bakery. She told me she had some gifts to buy and assured me that she knew what she was doing.


When I arrived she was dressed, standing at the front door and ready to go. Her bag and glasses were on the floor in a little pile. She was wearing slightly grubby jeans, a blue floral blouse and a light see-through linen knit cardigan and her McDonald woolen scarf tied around her neck. It was the first time I thought her outfit looked a bit strange. She is often grubby but she usually matches. A woolen cardigan would have looked better than the linen knit one.


“Are you coming with us?”

“No” she snapped “I am going shopping”.

Dad stepped in and repeated my question. “Are you sure you don’t want to come?”

She looked so lost. We both felt it.

Then she snapped angrily at us: Her expression and tone ugly and twisted.

“I am fine. I am going shopping. I have things to get”.


Her glasses were on the floor and I was concerned she would step on them.

“Mind out for your glasses mum”.

She looked, drew her breath and spat out at me, “My glasses are fine. I will not step on them”.


In the car dad struggled to buckle the seat belt. These are the moments when I realise just how bad his eyesight is.


“Thank God I am out of there. Thank God for this break from her”.