I arrived at my father's house today at about a quarter to one, to have him tell me that a nurse from the hospital ward where my mother was staying had been trying to get in cotact with me. Cursing I realised I'd left my mobile phone back at the flat, so I raced back to get it to see if she'd left a message. As I came through the front door I could hear my mobile phone ringtone, and managed to dive to the phone in time to pick up the call.
To be told that my mother had just died.
It was, by every account, a very quick and painless passing, which is as good as we could have hoped for given her illness. It was not entirely unexpected, the day before I'd been told she had "weeks and months rather than years" left, and to be brutally honest, Mum had deteriorated so dramatically in the last few months she was the merest shadow of her former self.
There'll be another brief hiatus on this blog, while all that needs to be done is done. Then we can start 2012 for real.