The stress had built up in me to the point where I felt I was going to explode. I could no longer cope.
Grief, sorrow, anger, self-pity all swirled around my confused, tired brain. Mum was so ill, I knew she
was dying, it could be days, it could be weeks, it might even be months, but one thing was for sure, her
care and comfort was my responsibility, a responsibility so huge that it weighed me down to the point
where all rational thought had disappeared.
I ran, I didn’t know where to go; I couldn’t go out, mum needed me nearby, where could I go? I stopped
by our little pond, fed by drains running onto our land from Cullenagh Mountain. Here I slumped onto
the grass and cried, great heaving sobs releasing weeks of pent up emotion surged out of me until they
slowed to silence, and then I just sat. And sat. And sat. Quiet, still, depressed. I had lost the ability to
A flash of movement caught my eye and a fluttering, spotted ribbon shot out from the weed, broke the
surface for an instant, caught a bubble and disappeared again almost before I had registered the vision.
I waited for it to reappear so I could get a better look. Was it a newt I thought with excitement? More
likely a developing tadpole, but that frilly membrane was so big, I’d never seen anything like it before. I
lingered, never stirring, squinting through the surface tension in anticipation, until I realised it was time I
went back to the house. Mum might need me, and I was able to move again.