With dread the next morning, I book a telephone call to my mother. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to say. “Mi dispiace tanto. I’m so sorry, Mamma. I just … I can’t. It’s … the business; there’s so much happening. Mamma, please don’t cry.” I feel mean and guilty at causing a fresh outburst of tears. “Please think again about coming to live with us in Africa. Mamma?”
But, Giuseppina will not change her mind. Even Eugenio tries his best to persuade her. She will not be swayed saying she is too old to leave everything that she has known to start a new life in a strange country. I phone again the next day. Mamma doesn’t say much apart from the fact that she’s brought the funeral forward to the next day. My heart clutches in my throat at these achingly gloomy words.
After peppering the silence with comments that I forget as soon as I say them, I end the agonising phone call promising to visit at Christmas. I’m broken-hearted as I put down the telephone after my mother’s fragile goodbye.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish