Bella rang from rehab, asked, ‘mum, will you come and meet my care worker.’
Off I went on the long journey, mid-week to have a meeting, with her care worker, at the rehabilitation house.
Bella was happy to have this get-together, happy to have this attention. We sat in a private room, the three of us. ‘Bella’s doing very well,’ I was told, ‘is there anything I would like to add.’
Yes there was. ‘I want my daughter back, as a family we deserve that.’
I said, I had been a supportive and loving mother to her, and would do anything to have her back, the way she used to be, before, The Big I Am, before alcohol, before drugs, stole her away from me. A tear fell on my cheek, rolled to the corner of my mouth, I tasted the salt, concentrated hard on ‘pulling myself together’.
Bella, as cold as ice, said, ‘I need to go and get cereal, this is the time that I eat.’ Off she went.
Care worker and I alone, in the room. ‘You know, Bella does love you, she loves you a lot,’ the care worker said.
All the love, care and attention, all the fun times, good holidays, the inclusion in everything we did as a family, the support I gave her, what child would not love a mother, such as I?
Why was I sat here, listening to a stranger telling me my daughter loved me.
I knew that.