Ma and I went to the seaside together. Just the two of us, she in a wheel chair. We were surrounded by young families, couples, and dog walkers and then we went past an old couple walking hand in hand. Ma said, ‘That couple is lucky to be out walking together.’ Just as she and Dad had done for years. I think we both felt very alone in our togetherness and it made us sad. I wanted to cry and cry and Ma probably did too. The ghosts of our past were with us: the children some eight years ago, Dad, younger me and Ma; all gone now. Ma could barely manage the stony beach, me trying to hide my tears, Dad dead more than 8 months, and the children changed into teenagers. We sat together quietly listening to the timeless sea, the echo of the children shouting on the beach, sea gulls calling.