The Waiting Room: Gabrielle Carey

When is it ever the right time to die? And when is a long life long enough? Gabrielle Carey is faced with such dilemmas in this sensitively written memoir on the frailty of old age. When her mother suddenly starts missing appointments and forgetting the simplest things, she knows something is wrong. A brain scan will reveal a tumour. Although her mother is happy to ‘sign off’, Gabrielle is not yet prepared to relinquish her, to accept such finality. She wants her to live just that little bit longer. It is during this tense period of doctors and waiting rooms that she gets to discover aspects of her mother’s cryptic character. Things about her youth and marriage; how and why she left home to travel abroad, then to the other side of the country. Questions that have plagued her throughout her life are answered frankly during talks with her convalescing mother. A tender account of motherhood and human bonding that leaves the reader with a great aftertaste.