It’s a very touching experience, watching someone uproot their entire life for you and prepare to start again thousands of miles away and I still haven’t found the words to express my gratitude to Her.
Of course She would say that it’s just as much for Her and Her daughter’s sake as it is for me, but I can’t help thinking that my own position, if somewhat stressful and emotionally volatile, is nothing to the upheaval and trauma involved in transporting your whole existence to a completely different continent.
I may have had to seek out larger accommodation than I could strictly afford, raise a bit of cash for our shared expenses and do a fair bit of bureaucrat bashing, but as I watched Her throwing a “packing party” with some friends (food, drink and a convivial atmosphere in exchange for their help in packing Her remaining possessions for storage and taping up boxes) I could only wonder at my good fortune and bask in the glow of Her love for me.
As it turned out, Her daughter’s birthday at the end of August ended up being the best chance they had to say goodbye to friends and loved ones and I managed to attend, albeit virtually, via video link.
I was visiting my sister and her boyfriend at the campsite they were holidaying on and we called mid-party to introduce the excitable and giggling six year old to my niece and nephew, who she was already looking forward to meeting when she finally arrived in England.
I had spent the preceding day with Her, (trapped in the little LED screen of Her phone, keeping Her company and revelling in any chance to spend time with Her) while She decorated the garden with balloons and suspended cutouts of musical notes, made a professional-looking, rock’n’roll themed “Barbie cake” and prepared food for the Rock Princess Birthday Girl and her guests.
Predictably, the party was a great success.
Looking back, it seems as if that may have been the last time She got to relax in Her old home, because the following month went by in a flurry of paperwork, packing and garage sales until, on the last weekend in September, She and Her daughter moved out of the house in which they’d shared so many memories and took the first step into an exciting, if uncertain, future.
And all I could do was wait for them to come home to me.
They didn’t have far to travel on that first journey though.
Just a few miles away the gorgeous lakefront house of Her best friend and her husband was to be their home from home until the visa process was completed and we had raised the money needed for their plane tickets.
I will always be incredibly grateful to the fabulous couple who made the woman I love so comfortable and welcome in their beautiful home, it did wonders for Her.
From the moment they arrived there, I could see the colour coming back into Her cheeks and the sparkle return to those bottomless blue eyes. She smiled and laughed more often, She looked healthier and happier than I’d seen Her in weeks and it made me all the more desperate to take Her in my arms once more, this time for good.
Little did we know that the Universe was about to take its eye off the ball…