4 weeks ago, my life got turned upside down. Mind you, not just mine. My whole family’s. There are many times I could have sat down and started to write… but somehow it did not feel right. How could I write about flying to see my dad because it could be the last time I saw him? How could I write about some of the dreadful things that we were told to expect? But in the midst of what I could describe as testing time at the very least, my brain carried on doing that positive thinking that I started when we came back after Easter. I had decided then that, if I could do nothing else, I would inject stories and other things into the repetitive medical conversations. I thought that I could talk about something else to make him think of something else. Call me naive but in the two weeks I was there, everyday he improved, one smile and one joke at a time.
So I started by putting my little one at the local pre-school to create a language immersion. It was also a distraction for little P. to avoid long daily commute to the hospital and having to behave for long hours, coming back late in the evening (there were also too many visitors so I had to share). She was so good though and never complained about going to the hospital. I have never mentioned on this blog that despite my first language being French, I find it hard to speak it at home. I know, I know, I agree, it is a shameful waste so I made this trip a milestone in changing that. The second week, we started a summer camp instead because it was the summer holiday. It was fascinating to see how adaptable she was and how popular she was too. From her usual half days, she started spending long full days in a new set of schools, with a new language and she loved every minute. It took the promise of feeding the Billy goats on the way back to get her home everyday!
We also designed things together and took them to my dad, watched hardly anything other than French kiddy programs at home (more immersion) and now she understand why she is learning French. She started asking for more words and understand which language is which, negotiating sometimes to revert to English! Gosh, I wonder what she will come up as a teenager!
But as all these things happened, my dad started benefiting from the brain radiotherapy to stop the bleed in his head. He also started loosing his hair but generally he was comfortable physically. I hate to think what he is going through emotionally though. As he said to me a couple of days ago, “I can’t plan anything long term anymore. ”
I left the days little P. was at school to visit the library, reminisce about my childhood and design a few concepts for my new fabric design range. See, when I was a child, I lived in places quite remote with very little company of my age. When we moved to where my parents are now, it was better but relationships did not materialise like they have later in my life. My knowledge was so little. The window onto the world was small and I started wondered what would have happened if I had had access to internet then. What if I could have explored the world from my bedroom? Would this have changed what I do now?
I know “what ifs” are immaterial. I am a different person now and the designs growing in me at the moment are the results of years of yearning, experiencing and exploring with new media. I think we underestimate how much we have at our fingertips. The downside it that we have to wade through a lot of rubbish and we take on too much. We also have to ask the right questions and, trust me on that one, it took me a long time to find the right words. So maybe this is it, now is now and talking design with my dad for the first time in a very long time keeps bringing more positive energy because, each day that passes with him is filled with hope and everyone has moved onto “hope mode”. We can’t help it, we all have and we take each day at a time until such a time that we have to drop everything and be where it matters the most. Hope is a very powerful emotion and until recently, I had no idea. Not about this kind of hope. I am still not sure this post will be one of my best but it goes some way towards reconnecting, because writing also heals…