‘We were happy, your mother and me. She was a good wife.’

Standing by the graveside, I nod in agreement because he never knew the truth. That’s how good she was.

Mum believed in her marriage vows: Putting up with the other women and the drinking until the summer daddy went away.

She met Uncle Ted, and her joy and laughter filled me with hope. But daddy came home, and Ted disappeared.

Mum stayed until cancer broke those vows.

My father dabs at his crocodile tears, and I weep for my mother’s wasted life.

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