On the way home Sandy and Cathy discussed the meeting with Barbara. “Well I think that went well, don’t you?” Cathy asked. As Sandy didn’t respond immediately she looked over to her.
“Is everything alright?” she asked. “Is something bothering you?”.
“I’m probably just being silly but I wonder why she didn’t tell us where she was living. We heard a lot about the house in which she was brought up but nothing about where she lives now”. Sandy worried. She thought it strange that Barbara had omitted this from the discussion. Also when asked what she did for a living, Barbara had quickly and effortlessly it seemed, changed the subject. So what was she hiding?
When they arrived at Sandy’s house it was agreed that they would meet again in a couple of days so that Sandy could get her head around what she had learned and where she wanted to go from here. She had so many decisions to make but the main one was when and who to tell of this new development.
She went inside and hung her coat on the hall stand. She stood looking at the stand for a while. It had always been part of her life it seemed. It had stood in the hall all through her growing up years. She could remember her father standing in front of it, adjusting his hat and tie before going out for a drink with his friends. Her mother always put on the bright red lipstick there and she always looked in the mirror to check her hair before opening the front door. Then when Sandy’s mother had to move into the retirement home, the hall stand came to live in Sandy’s hall.
But delving into these memories was only a way to put off making some decisions.
Of course, Ian her son would have to be told before anyone else. Though goodness knows how he would react to this side of his mother about which he knew absolutely nothing. And what of Val his wife? How would she react to a mother-in-law who had a child before she was married and had given it up for adoption?
Sandy had never talked to her son about her life before she met his father, and certainly had never told him how she had been involved in the Swinging Sixties. Oh he knew about that era – who didn’t, but how would he feel about his mother having been part of it? Questions that could only be answered by calling him.
She checked the time in Vancouver and was pleased to see it was only 6am there and so far too early to make a call. So she could put that call off for several hours. Perhaps after the boys had finished sport and the family had lunch would be a good time to call. But would any time be a good time?
So that decision made, she called her ex husband. Unfortunately, Saturday afternoon and he was out, Probably at the football which was his passion. West Ham was his team and they were playing at home to Arsenal. He wouldn’t miss that.
So she left a message on voice mail for him to call her when he got in. She thought she would suggest they meet for a pre lunch drink at the local pub tomorrow, Sunday. It would be easier telling him about Barbara face to face.
Now who else would she have to tell? Her mother was in a retirement centre drifting in and out of dementia. Should she even tell her? It was so long ago and it would probably disturb her. No. That decision was easily made. She wouldn’t mention the meeting when next she saw her mother.
So who else to tell. Her bridge friends – no, they were more acquaintances than friends although they did she each other each week and exchanged tidbits about their lives. And if/when it came out, as it obviously would, they would be hurt that she hadn’t told them.
So she decided to make a list. Always making lists was Sandy. She was methodical and said that once she saw the scope or scale of a chore written down in list form, she could get her head around it.
So Ian, her son was at the top of the list, followed by her ex-husband, her bridge friends, Grace her next door neighbour with whom she was quite friendly and of course, her closest friend Julia would have to be told.
But none of these other calls would be made until after she had spoken to her son and her ex-husband.
The question of what Barbara was hiding would have to wait for another day.
“You can’t make decisions based on fear and
the possibility of what might happen.”
― Michelle Obama