‘It could be worse,’ she says, as I knew she would.
She’s right, of course it could be worse. No matter what happens, it could always be worse.
You lose a leg in an accident, well you could have lost both of them.
You lose both legs and you could have lost an arm as well.
That is not what you want to hear when your world has collapsed. It is no consolation at all.
‘Ma,’ I say, ‘the company is laying people off. The recession and all. I finish at the end of the month.’
‘Oh,’ says she. ‘Never mind love, it could be worse. At least you have your health.’
My health! I have a mortgage to pay. Kids to feed, to put through school. A wife who has never learned the meaning of thrifty. A wife who will go ballistic when I tell her the news.
I take a deep breath and wait for her to say those words. The ones she has said for every crisis in my life since as far back as I can remember.
‘Oh well,’ she utters sagely. ‘Never mind son. Sure worse things happen at sea.’