Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

A sense of completion

Last December, Mum was given a few weeks to live. My brother flew home from Africa, his family cancelled their plans to join him, we had end of life meetings with doctors and nursing staff, and re-arranged Christmas Day so that we could all be at the nursing home for lunch. Christmas passed and we braced ourselves for mum’s final days.

They didn’t come.

Around March mum’s Doctor said: ‘You’re looking awfully well for someone who was only given a few weeks to live.’

He ran some blood tests. Mum had rallied. Her kidney function had risen from sub-ten to over twenty five. She wasn’t impressed but she enjoyed holding her second great grandchild in July after which, I suggested she might like to stick around for my book launch. No, she was adamant. ‘I am ready to go Elizabeth.’

A couple of weeks ago, we had another scare. Mum’s kidney function plunged. Sitting beside her on the bed, I said: ‘Oh mum, I did so want to put my book in your hands.’

‘Never mind,’ she said. ‘I know you’ve done it.’

I haven’t always been a good daughter. I’ve railed against mum’s decline. But she’s my Welsh link; the reason I wrote the novel I’ve written. The reason I fell in love with a language. See, we were a migrant family. My parents left the UK to give their children greater opportunities. They had to start again from scratch. Both worked full time (back in the days when that was not so common). Dad faced perpetual homesickness. Mum held the whole thing together. When I got pregnant during the final year of my arts degree it put their whole reason for emigrating in jeopardy. Dad died before he got a chance to see it turn out alright. Mum will be too frail to attend my book launch. But yesterday, I was able to put The Tides Between in her hands.

***

It didn’t feel right to put buying links at the end of this post but people are asking. So, you can find them here.

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14 Comments

  1. Liz, your Mum must be so proud. She looks like a proud Mum in her photo! I hope she stabilises again, was in a similar position as you know with my Mum and she is driving again! God help us!

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      She has always been my biggest fan a albeit, a critical one, at times. We emigrated for better opportunities but mum has sometimes seemed baffled by what those opportunities look like in reality (like spending seven months in Wales for example) 🙂

  2. Wonderful story, Liz. She looks delighted (and well!). Neither my mum or dad were around for my book launch (they both died quite some time ago), and Mum especially would have been so proud. So glad for you and your mum x

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Yes she does look well. Though she’s still recovering from shingles. She just keeps bouncing back.

  3. Joyce Smith

    Liz, your mum must be so proud to see such a wonderful final product…and your book too, of course. I will be thinking of you and hope that all goes well for the launch and that she’s able to keep up with all the excitement.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Joyce. I told her we will film it. Mum’s hearing isn’t good and she struggles to concentrate. So, we’ll watch snippets together some time.

  4. Cheryl seing

    H Liz Congratulations on your book you finally did it well done How can I get a copy of your book Liz All the best at your book launch

  5. That’s truly wonderful, Liz. I’m so happy for you and her that she got to hold your book and see and feel the weight of all your wonderful talent and efforts. Well done.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Leisl. I’d have taken it last week but she’s had shingles and been in isolation.

  6. What a wonderful sense of completion, Liz, and that your mum is here to see your book arrive and hold it. (She does look well.) I hope she continues to recover well from her shingles as soon as is possible.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      She spends lots of time asleep, has good days and bad. But it was a relief for me to hand it over. Not sure if she’ll have the energy to read it but, maybe…

  7. jvictoriamichael.com

    A very moving story Elizabeth, and sad at a time when you’d love to be singing with joy. Your Mum will appreciate seeing a video of the launch. My best wishes for the event and congratulations on your first book.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Victoria. I am just glad Mum made it this far. She’s ready to go.

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