London, United Kingdom
Mum and I awoke in the dark and got ready in relative silence, checked out of our hotel and caught the shuttle bus to the terminal. Mum checked in for her flight and without time for so much as a sub standard coffee, it was time to say goodbye. Over the years, particularly in the more formative ones, my Mum has grown accustomed to my emotional, teary outbursts in public – this time she joined in.
We hugged for a long time as mother and daughter but also as the best of friends. Being one of six children, time with Mum is at a premium and although I’d had a month of having her all to myself, I didn’t want to lose a second. Eventually I had to let her go though, eternally grateful for this time we’ve shared.
I also want to mention that Mum’s trip was only made possible by a travel fund my sisters and I contributed to over the years to send Mum and Dad on such a trip. Thank you to my sisters and to my Dad who have not only contributed financially but have also forgone precious time with Mum so that she could spend this time with me. It’s true value can never be measured (although I’ll submit a full financial reconciliation in due course to prove I paid my own way and to ensure there’s good grounding in the fund for future trip for Mum and Dad!).
Of course the upside of farewells is the hello’s at the other end. I know Mum is busting to see everyone back at home and for my part, once the tears dried, I happily heaved my backpack on once more and headed back to my de facto family and home in Furzedown.
It was a joyful reunion with Vic, Pete and Rollo, especially as plans were already hatched to have a Sunday roast at the very same pub we’d gone to on the day of my arrival. Only this time we were celebrating Vic’s birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIC (…for a few days ago) with a few of their friends – followed by drinks with Dapper Dan Lewsley who always makes it a pleasure to be in his company.
After such a big adventure, it was a bitter sweet relief to lay down my backpack again until next time…