|Calm skies on Saturday morning's bike ride|
Last week was quite a week with one thing and another, which made me appreciate the quiet weekend we had, before we launched ourselves into another busy week.
It was a weekend of reflection for us, as exactly six years ago today we lost Adrian’s Dad to a stroke, and this is the first time the anniversary has matched that weekend, day for day. I can’t help but look back and remember what we were doing that Friday when the phone call came. How it felt to leave Adrian at La Rochelle airport to head to the UK, alone, while I spent the drive home preparing what I would say to Ed when I collected him from lycée. For Ed and I, the weekend was spent waiting for messages or video calls. For Adrian, his Mum and the rest of the family, it was spent at the hospital. Then the heart-breaking call on the Monday morning to say his Dad had died.
Do you ever wonder how destiny works? and how it is we end up where we do? and how some people we meet come and go, but bonds are formed with others? I do, and I usually enjoy discovering patterns or coincidences, especially when they involve dates and numbers.
Back in the 1990’s we were living in Reading, Berkshire and I was commuting into the City of London for work. One of my younger colleagues lived on the Essex coast, so if we hadn’t have found ourselves working in the same small team, it is safe to say we would never have met. Over the years our lives became intrinsically entwined by shared memorable dates. The first coincidence was that she and Adrian share a birthday. Then, she got married on our first wedding anniversary and to top off the hat trick, her third son was born on my 37th birthday. With lives in different countries, we might not see each other regularly, but we will always have those celebratory dates in common and we keep in touch, through Facebook. They are a sporty family too and didn’t hesitate to help us clock up the kilometres for the charity event set up in memory of our nephew Ben in the summer of 2020.
|Autumn colours in the old vineyards|
Destiny has been playing the dating game with me again this week, minus the smiles of birthdays and weddings. Exactly two months on from losing my Dad to liver cancer, a good friend in the village was admitted into the palliative care unit at our local hospital, also battling liver cancer. On Friday, her three children arrived at her bedside, exactly as Adrian had done for his Dad on Friday 18th November 2016. Our thoughts and hearts have been with them all this weekend and destiny’s hat trick was the news that she died peacefully in her sleep this morning.
Whilst news like this is always a shock, my coincidence alarm was on high alert and I would be lying if I said a little bit of me hadn’t been expecting the early morning message from her son. I'm not sure what to make about these crazy coincidences, but I am glad destiny put us in the same small French village and that I was able do what I could to help her navigate this beast of an illness with the added complication of medical appointments in a foreign language.
RIP Sue 21/11/22. A lovely lady and a good friend.
In memory of David 21/11/16. The best father-in-law, who welcomed me into his family with a smile and one or two glasses of vin chaud.