Waves of emotion roll through me. It’s an odd time to be feeling this way. I’m stopped at a light with the twins in tow, making my way home for lunch. I’m hungry.
And then I see it. Two car lengths ahead. The kids are straining to catch a glimpse. It is an ambulance, making its way quietly along. To the hospital, I suspect.
And suddenly all I can think about is my mother’s last ambulance ride. Today is not special. It’s not an ‘anniversary’ of some horrible life experience. It’s a Tuesday. I’ve seen ambulances before, for crying out loud. Yet, out of the haze I have this vision of my mother in an ambulance. An ambulance not in any hurry.
I think of my mother’s words to me the day she left her home for the last time. It was a Saturday. She said it wasn’t fair to us to have to look after her like this. She was selfless like that. She asked us to phone the ambulance. To be taken to the hospital where she could be cared for. So we did. And she was. The very next day she took her last breath. She left us. She knew.
I force the tears back in their place, willing them not to fall. I tell myself I’m being foolish. But I don’t have control over what thing will evoke which memory. Today it was an ambulance. And the memory was a sad one. Tomorrow, perhaps, a happy one?