“The bridge must be just over there, I can hear the water!” I said to my Mum, motioning past the thicket of bush just to our right.
“Yes” she answered cheerily, “I’m fine!” a smile glossing over her face as she kept her eyes cast downward, concentrating on the sloping shingle pathway as it snaked through the undergrowth.
We were on another of our road trips – the second during this trip home – and once again, she’d taken her hearing aids out without telling me.
My mum is in her mid-70’s, though you wouldn’t know it to look at her – she has a glimmer in her eye and a lightness to her step which belies her actual age. And did I mention there’s nary a wrinkle to be seen on her face? Please please please pass me on some of those genes, OK, Mum? Cool. That’d be great.
Over the past few days we have scrambled over tree trunks, stood on wild wind-swept beaches, and consumed about one million cups of coffee. She’s sat and waited patiently for hours under the shade of a tree whilst I frolicked under a waterfall. She’s accompanied me to a store I just *had* to hunt down and visit after seeing it on Instagram, tolerated my poor map-reading skills, and has patiently put up with the lamp in our shared motel room being on well into the early hours of the morning, as I attempt to read myself to sleep (insomnia is no-one’s friend).