Mitzi’s eyes glaze over, filling with tears as we board the plane. She cuddles into me and I stroke her head, kissing her teary cheeks, telling her I know she misses the life over here, her friends, it’s where she grew up. It’s good to be sad about things and express it, and also to hold onto the good things, that we will be back. My goodness, the friends that have become, because of your accident, extraordinary friends. The fact that in a little corner of the world, a village in the South West of France, that we have friends such as these is unbelievable. How we deserved such friends as these I’ll never know. The fact we were in France was because they have set up an association in France, 12 of them together, to raise money for Alex, part of that was buying us our tickets to get out there…how inspirational they are as people to have done something like this for us…they will never know just how much it means.
I hope the smiles on the kids faces, the laughter following us everywhere, the affinity of friendship, despite the fact we are no longer there, they gave us this holdiay, that this speaks the words we can't. I am so grateful and so humbled by their efforts.
From the airport, we go directly to the centre to see you, and Mitzi cries with happiness at seeing you, wanting to tell you all about what she had done, and man, they did some things! You do not let any of us go, kissing everywhere and anywhere you could, stroking our kids heads, grabbing them and cuddling them with your right arm. Your face a picture of peace and delight, contented and calmed in our presence…
I hear from the nurses it’s been a hell of week for you, upset, frustrated, and missing me. But I am back now, and have been forced to rest. As I could not see you, I did not have burning in my mind all the time the fact that I want to be with you day in day out, night in and night out if I could, only I can’t because we have four little souls to bring up and nurture and who are now more dependant on me than ever. The constant tug-of-war of emotions and impossibility of getting it right ever, the noose was released this week. I couldn’t see you, so it was just me with the kids. The joy it gave me to see real smiles all day on their faces, to enter the house just for sleeping, fully physically exhausted from an entire day out, sleeping soundly and well deserved sleep around 10 pm. The refreshing outdoor life. The space, the sun, the beach, the sound of the ocean, the wave diving, the boat trip, the laughter, their real happiness and their relief in knowing life in France is not finished, we are very remembered, very loved and they will still grow up with their friends they have loved and known since they were tiny.
I slept 10 hours every night, the only running around I did was running to the sea to throw myself if as one of the kids drags me down going ‘come on mum, it’s such fun!’ me, who is scared of the sea, let monty go out with his friends wave surfing, me, who wants to cling on and profit every minute with them, letting Monty go for 2 stay over’s with his friends he used to play football with here. Me, who is scared of a lot of things, driving again on the left hand side of the road, facing the place we once were and grew together. Taking them to a lake, and jumping off a huge rock 8 foot high (well that’s huge and brave for me!). When I was a teenager, everyone on this holiday jumped off this huge rock into the water below, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, overcome the fear, I was the only one who didn’t. But today, with all I know, with what I have lived, I want to show the kids that confronting your fears, it’s ok to be scared, but it’s good to try and overcome them. I would never have done it before, and I hovered, looked down, there was no way, but then I think, no, for Alex, I’ll do it for you, I know you would have been the first person cheering me on, or pushing me off calling me a whimp! And I ran and I jumped off. And I did it!
I over came a lot this holiday. And my reward was seeing the daily smiles on the kids faces, running around playing with their French friends, I was so proud. Proud I made myself come away, that you want me to do these things for them, even though my heart and soul rest in yours, craving you, missing you.
What a week it was, adventure, tears, laughter, sea, sun, confronting ghosts, and making it through.
Seeing you tonight was just incredible, seeing how much you loved the kids being around, hanging onto me and not letting me go…
That’s how it is, we hang onto each other as tight as we can, forever, and this will only get better and better…
Merci a tout mes amis en France pour une semaine extraordinaire…vous savez autant qu’on vous aime et jespere que nos sourires, nos lames, nos rires reste les bonne souvenirs pour un petit moment jusqu’on revien. Ce que vous nous avez fait est extrordinaire et on vous aime…toujours dans nos coeurs, et surtout le mien pour avoir revu les vrai sourire de mes loulous…grace a vous tout ca-enorme!!!!
See you in the afternoon babes, it’s half-past-midnight, I should think about getting myself to bed!
I am so happy to be back and seeing you…