I am back a few days having spent the previous week in southern Spain. This trip was planned in the midst of our raw grief after my mother passed away. One day my father mentioned in conversation that he would like to go away for a few days perhaps to where he and Mam used go on holiday, a place she loved so well. Immediately I offered to go with him because it felt like the right thing to do. When two of my sisters heard they jumped to the idea too. So, one rainy January night, we went ahead and booked our flights and accommodation. The kids and all the usual daily goings on with our families were put on hold as we didn’t overthink this holiday and funnily, everything fell into place. Our respective hubbies and families were extremely supportive so we didn’t have to worry about home stuff.
The day after we arrived my father was on a mission to go to the various places where he and Mam would have been over the years. It was as if he was was searching or maybe yearning for something intangible and we felt it, a pilgrimage of sorts. We sat on a bench she loved to people watch on a balmy, sunny day. Our brother surprised us by coming over a couple of days into the holiday which added to the experience. We visited a tiny local church near the hotel they stayed in. We sat and drank tea and coffee whilst our father regaled us of stories never heard of before.
We laughed, we cried, ate well, drank the local beer and wine and walked and walked. Each of us could feel Mam’s presence at various times as her descriptions of a place she loved to visit became reality for us. We visited different places too creating new memories. This time spent was precious to us and it was a privilege to be with our father. We are hoping for a repeat next year.
The reason for this trip was tinged with sadness but we left with hope in our battered hearts.