Mum used her money from the sale of the house to make our flat a home, new carpets, suite, curtains, fridge and freezer, our bedroom furniture was brought from the house as it was in perfectly good condition. We loved it, the contentment was phenomenal.
Having done Avon in the past I decided to do it again, mum and I both did it, it was another small income, we got to know people this way and it got mum out and about, her confidence had been bruised, but she was now confident enough to tell people she had separated from her husband, for so many years she had tried to pretend life was rosy and that she was 'fine.' After a few months mum became depressed, weepy and snappy, all the years of running on adrenaline just to survive the mental torture had now gone, the novelty of the new flat was steadying and bang she fell to pieces. I was a teenager, by no means difficult, but I'm sure I caused her worry, going out at night, driving, coming home late. She tried medication, I think it might have been Prozac, OH MY GOD, the woman was mad, she stopped the tablets. She got over it, gave herself a kick up the bum and was thankful for what she had.
One day we were both out doing our Avon round, it could have been early evening or it could have been a Sunday I can't recall, I was stood at a front door on the corner of the main road and a side street, waiting for my customer to answer the door, my mum did the other end of the main road, the main road which ran past our block of flats. I was gazing around, looking at nothing in particular while I waited, in the distance I could see a male figure walking down the main road, the walk was familiar, the figure familiar, instantly recognisable, dad. What's he doing here?, said the voice inside my head. My Aunt and the 'ARSEHOLE' lived around the corner, but he would not have gone intentionally to see them, on account of the ARSEHOLE being there. I turned my back, facing the door, the customer was apparently not in, he walked right by me and round into the side street. Had it been anywhere else I would have stopped him, asked after him, but he was yards from our new safe flat. He might pester us if he knew where we were. I knew my mum would have felt uneasy so I decided this was not the place to be speaking to him. I went straight home, mum wasn't back yet, so I went looking for her, he may wander the street and come across her, she would get a fright. At that she came home, once we were safe in our living room I filled her in. We had questions in our head, had he got wind of the fact we were staying here and come to try and find us, was it coincidence and he was visiting his sister, this we doubted. It was unsettling. Shortly after this sighting, mum got a phone call from her good friend who worked in a hospital lab. 'Did you know Billy's in the hospital, he's very ill?' How he ended up in hospital originally, I'm not sure, his stomach was swollen and he was very ill, he had been kept in. Going without alcohol, which he had not done now for at least 15-20 years on a daily basis obviously didn't go down to well with his body and he had left the hospital, a nurse had tried to stop him and he had punched her, he managed to get out of hospital and on that very day was the day he had walked by me in the street. He had been picked up by the police and was found practically unconscious, where or by who I will never know, a quarter bottle of whisky in his pocket with merely a sip out of it. Anna explained to my mum that she had been passed his blood for testing and realising who it was felt I at least should be informed as it wasn't 'looking good' she explained his liver had failed and even a sip of whisky was enough to saturate it causing the same effect 8-10 drinks would have on us.
My mum called the ward and explained the situation and that her concern was for her 18 year old daughter, the nurse confirmed his organs were failing, he was very yellow with jaundice and he was delirious. The nurse advised it was up to us, but if it was her 18 year old daughter she would advise against it, far to upsetting she said. I went with this. If I thought for one minute he was of sane mind I would have been there in a flash, but we knew his sane mind had left a long time ago, left at the same time as my dad had left, he was my dad in body but that was all. Mum called the hospital daily for an update, it was clear it as a waiting game, still the nursing staff advised against visiting, I had made up my mind that my dad had died a long time ago and I had no need to go and visit, it wouldn't do him or me any good, I would be doing it purely for the sake of the rest of his family to show face. I did not feel the need to do this, mum did offer to come, she was very supportive. Mum's birthday was on Friday the 8th March and we had a feeling he might pass away on this day, haunting my mums birthday forever, but the day came and went, Saturday came and went, I was beginning to panic, I was going on a studying holiday with the college to France on the Monday and would not have been happy for him to have passed away while I was in France, I would have been unable to concentrate. It was selfish of me to want to go, but there was nothing I could do, I could not stop his illness, he had not stopped his illness, I had no intention of going to his funeral, that was clear in my mind, it would have been hypocritical, I could not stand to be there watching his family weep and wail at the death of a loved one, yes I'm sure they would be upset but they had done nothing to help him or us, I was bitter.
On Sunday I carried on, I packed, my mum made her usual call to the hospital at 3.10pm, she always called after visiting hour. I knew immediately by her tone and comments, it had finally happened, my dad passed away at 2.55pm on the 10th March 1991.
It was Mother's Day.....