It’s homework, so read it…or don’t – I don’t mind. Just don’t be offended by the contents which will not be edited or restricted as it is a mind exercise. Thus said, here it begins.
Today’s trigger is Marmite.
It’s funny. My first direct insult – one that really stung – came from a relative on the day of my brother-in-law’s death. He was taken from us very suddenly, a heart attack as he drove home from work. By the time I had contacted my husband, begged my lovely neighbour to look after the children and rushed to fetch my other sister and brother-in-law from their house, he had passed away. Life tends to rush out like that. We scream into this world and then push our way out the door to return to the darkness without a second thought for those left behind. Although, saying that, my brother-in-law probably spared a thought for his beautiful family. He was like that – kind, good-hearted and sometimes misunderstood.
Back to the insult. It was after a long vigil at the hospital where most of the family had gathered, in shock I might add, to hold onto his remains and spill tears over his slowly deteriorating body. I distance myself from emotions at times like this and instead, observe those around me, taking in their sorrow and play for attention in some cases. The hurt and angst felt against the now dead brother was forgotten. He lay there, a peaceful, composed body, protecting the secrets of excruciating circumstances surrounding heart failure, resuscitation and the unfortunate flat line declaring the end. What he also did with no conscious thought was bring a fractured family back together after years of arguments and slander over – what else, but money and property. I could lie to you and say that I played no part in those war efforts to thwart the lies, accusations and anger but I won’t play you for fools. After all, this is my marmite moment.
The night drew to a close and everyone said their final good-byes. But, alas, no-one had told his mother in law that he had gone. Having laid my emotions to the wayside, I was able to volunteer myself as driver to deliver the distressing news to this fragile lady who had stayed home during the earlier fracas. Her daughter, my sister in law’s sister, offered to come with me to provide comfort to her mother and to ensure she would be alright once I left as I was the only way home for those who had come in my carriage.
My sense of direction must have been put to the wayside with my emotions because it took us more than an hour to get to a destination only fifteen minutes away. The drive itself was pleasant enough with the two of us making small talk, mainly undertaking the task of dissecting the day leading up to our loss. Just as we arrived at the house, the conversation had taken a turn and home truths were laid bare, scorched free by the desolate state of our hearts. She, the lady with whom I had travelled for an hour, decided to share her true sentiments towards me, which may I say, were not favourable. It took only a moment to agree with her statements, which were factual and inhibited by the tiresome delicacies of etiquette we use for everyday parlance. Needless to say, at first I felt the sting of her words and wanted to retaliate in kind. But I gave it a second, more than a heart beat my poor brother in law now spared.
She was right. I was irksome, rude and annoying. My true nature was often hidden behind false pretences and she could see me for what I was. There was only one thing to do – agree. I told her, I was like marmite. You either loved or hated me. I couldn’t apologise for what I was because that was a part of me just as much as the agreeable segments. Instead, I invited her to accept the fact that I held these qualities and reassured her that no matter what, she would see the true me and that included some of my better qualities. Hopefully.
We entered the house and delivered the news and I left her with her mother, remunerating our conversation. It was not my efforts to hide my inefficiencies but her perspicuous view that uncovered them, revealing me as marmite. For that, I am eternally grateful. Death reveals more than life.