Mum’s shocking secret revealed

My mum who is only 56, last week had a heart attack and is now in hospital where it seems she’s on the road to recovery, or at least she’s no longer critical.

She was on a shopping trip, up West, when it happened. My dad, and all the family have been devastated in the run-up to Christmas. Mum’s health and well-being has blown all Christmas plans out of the window.

What they told us at the hospital is that mum was taken ill in the street and a kindly bystander got her into a hotel lobby, from where the ambulance was called. He had left without leaving his name. But the story, it seems isn’t so clear-cut as we thought.

When my brother went round to the hotel to thank them, it appears that mum had booked into the hotel a couple of hours earlier, with a man. He was the one who called reception and an ambulance, and left.

Her friends are staying pretty tight-lipped, although one of them, when we first told her, blurted out, ‘Oh no! Was she with X?’

It’s slowly emerged that for the last five or six years, she’s been seeing someone else, once a month, in one hotel or another. No one knows his name, but he is married, too. We daren’t ask mum about it. We daren’t even tell dad. She’s still emerging into a ward from ITU.

But this Christmas and New Year, once and if she gets out of hospital, is going to be a nightmare. It already is. I’ve got a two-year-old who deserves a good Christmas. My dad is going to have to come round to mine, or to my brother, whose wife is pregnant.

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We were all going round to theirs, a wonderful location for a family Christmas. Is it selfish to wonder if we can get through Christmas?

Barbara says: Don’t panic. All of you go to your parents’ house and share the cooking and the hospital visiting. This isn’t the right time to worry about the background to this medical emergency. Deal with the emergency now. Dissecting the mess has to come later. I don’t often say this, but I’ll say it now – forget the relationship problem. Cope with Christmas, and try to do your best!