Long distance relationships are hard, and right now I’m finding it especially hard, as this time last year I’d just arrived in Michigan on my last visit. At the time we were aiming for me to be there to live for our first anniversary, which is next week, but not long after my return, my Father had a fall and ended up in hospital, making us all realise that his health was failing, and we put our visa plans on hold.
As it happens we are now at the point in our process where I have to list all the places I have lived for more than six months in the years since I was sixteen, so that I can get a police report.
For a nomad like me, that is easier said than done and has involved combing through bank statements, old resumes and family letters (I’m a pack rat nomad) to pad out such memory joggers as “bottom of Birmingham airport runway, idiot flat mate threw up on my birthday and claimed we were engaged” (a story that may never make it to these pages!).
Of course many of these letters are from my Mother and by proxy my Father and I ended up missing them both horribly too. At first I thought I was coping well by keeping busy, but after I caught myself stuffing the bedding into the bin (trash) instead of the washing machine I admitted to myself I was distracted and retired to the garden to take stock.
At this point I should talk a little about my home, which I always think of as being Mole End from The Wind in the Willows, a bijou residence which I sometimes tire of spring cleaning, but to which I always return with longing after my adventures. All made possible by the generosity of the friend who rents it to me. So I love my home, and its little yard which catches the sun, with herbs in pots and room to hang my sheets to dry and space to sit with a glass of wine or a coffee and my dog on my lap and a good book.
And so it is impossible to sit there for very long without feeling incredibly lucky, and there lies both my saving, and my survival, the knowledge that I am incredibly lucky. That as much as I miss my parents, I was lucky to have loving parents to miss and that as much as I miss my husband, when you consider how much we love each other and that the relationship has survived a year apart and a bereavement, everything else rather pales by comparison. That however long it takes and however scary or painful it may be it is all going to work out .
And strengthened by this and the sheer beauty of the big blue sky, I was able to go inside, put on some music and find my strength in cooking. So much so that when my youngest step-daughter came down for breakfast, she interrupted her Dad and I dancing with each other on Skype to the Brazilan beats of Woman On Top.
Oh well, if we can survive this, then she can survive that trauma!
The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu original title) is a 1988 Luc Besson film about divers.
You can buy the recent Director’s Cut The Big Blue [English Language] [DVD]“>here.