Yesterday I bade farewell to my dear friend Jules and her family as they flew off to live in jolly old England. I have kept a stiff upper lip throughout the process of her move and I have to say that stoicism sucks.
I was all –
It’s going to be amazing
I love England
You’ll get all the good TV shows they don’t play here
You can go to Paris on weekends
It won’t ever get as hot as it does in Sydney
You won’t have to work (her husband has landed a really good job)
You can devote more time to your painting and paint English meadows and dales
The kids will be near their grandparents
The English sense of humour is pretty much the same as the Australian one
I didn’t realise I was so good at accentuating the positive. I have such mad skillz I could teach courses in it.
The thing is, I felt like a total fraud because as I was outlining the multitude of positives I was crying my head off internally.
I was like a two year old holding onto their mother’s leg when they are left at daycare in the morning.
The scared little girl side of me needs Jules here with me.
Jules knows me. She gets me. I’m not just saying goodbye to her as she flies into the Northern Hemisphere; I’m saying goodbye to my comfort zone, to my support structure.
Even though I know it’s not true today I feel like I am standing in the world alone.
I couldn’t let her see that. I didn’t. She was nervous enough without me acting like an idiot.
Saying goodbye to the ones we love is just about the hardest thing in the world, but at least I said goodbye.
Jules hoped right up until the eleventh hour, the eleventh hour and fifty ninth second, that her mother would get in touch with her.
(For those of you who don’t know the story, Jules’ mother refuses to make contact with her daughter because she disapproves of her husband).
We went round to her mother’s house several times. There was either nobody home or she was refusing to answer the door. She never answered the phone. She didn’t respond to faxes or emails.
I was so mad about it that I sat outside her house for a whole day in the car. Nobody came out and nobody went in.
I have to conclude that the woman is beyond help. To not make your peace with your daughter when she is moving to the other side of the world seems unfathomable. Her coldness makes me stagger.
As she was walking through the Departures gate Jules said to me: Please check on my Mum from time to time.
I almost burst into tears. She still remains hopeful after everything. I guess a hopeful heart is better than a broken one.
I am happy for my friend as she goes off on her adventure to a new place. I hope that very, very soon her part of England feels like home.
I hope she gets to visit Rick Stein’s restaurant in Cornwall.
I hope she enjoys listening to BBC Radio 4 live.
But boy, am I going to miss her….