When I surprised my girlfriend on her birthday.
"Is everyone alright?" cried the driver from his cabin, "sorry about that, a learner driver came out in front of me!"
"I shall be fine thank you" Lorraine said to the driver and others concerned. "it was just a bit of a shock that's all and very embarrassing."
The guy she'd fell upon helped her to her feet and eased her down on the seat next to him. He smiled warmly and said he was glad she was alright.
"Are you sure you are not hurt?" enquired a person behind. "You have every right to claim against the bus company you know."
"I shan't bother, it was evidently not the driver's fault, But thanks" Lorraine replied.
Telling her daughter, Susan about her ordeal she treated it like it had all been a bit of a laugh. But Susan didn't laugh and Lorraine was thinking perhaps she should not have mentioned it.
"I do wish you would listen to me for once and let me drive you to the supermarket. You are not as young and sprightly as you used to be mum."
"Go on. Rub it in. That is utter nonsense, Susan; you know my feelings about that. I do loathe people, who, because you are older, offer you a seat in the bus, or take your bags for you and place them on the rack, as if you were past it. I am only 49 for heaven's sake."
"They are only being nice mum."
"Maybe but I pride myself in managing my own affairs and show them I am quite capable, we are all living longer these days."
"Even so, sometimes I do feel guilty for not living with you any more mum."
"Don't be, you have your own life to lead and you love your man."
"That could have been really nasty if that guy hadn't of cushioned your landing."
"Jack you mean? "
"So you asked him his name, you are not slow are you?" her daughter chuckled with a mischievous in her eyes.
"No, he offered it." replied Lorraine hiding a blush in her cheeks.
Her mum had been divorced five years and Susan felt it was okay to tease her mum now.
"You never complained when Dad took you by car to do the shopping Mum?"
"But that was before all this business about humans being the cause of climate change. I vowed last year to do my bit cutting down my carbon footprint. As you know I am just one of those people who does not like cars."
"But Mum at least let me just drop you and pick you up next week; we can have a nice cup of coffee in the supermarket caf__ and make an outing out of it. How's that?"
"Susan, you can try as hard as you like but you won't change my mind. don't you see, if I did accept, your kindness it will become a veritable habit and I will lose out on that vital bit of exercise? So it is thank you Susan, but no thanks!"
"Look mum, buy yourself a laptop and you can do all your shopping online and have it delivered too. I'll buy one for you as a birthday present and I promise to show you how to operate it."
"Can you really see me using a laptop for myself? I use one at work and that is quite enough thank you."
"I would still prefer to choose my own shopping, even if some shoppers get annoyed and tut-tut when I spend time checking prices and weights."
Susan talked to her partner Joe about it; "you should know your mother by now" he said, "she has made up her mind and won't be moved, I realised that long ago when I offered to do her decorating for her and she told me she was quite capable of doing it thank you."
Susan mentioned it also to one of her office colleagues who occasional visited for a social evening, whose mother visits the same health club as hers.
"Perhaps you mum has a secret man friend to help her" she suggested with a glint in her eyes.
"Not mum, she is set in her ways now."
"Are you sure Susan?"
"Of course I am.. I joked with her the other day about that and her scowl said it all"
So it seemed Susan had no option other than to accept her mum's independence and hope that nothing horrible would happen to her.
She'd tried everything, but knew when to stop the moment she became agitated.
Susan continued to visit her mum on a Saturday - just to keep an eye on her.