I did a lot of journal writing in France, and here's one entry that I wanted to post as a blog, but alas, the internet was nowhere to be found! I decided I would post it after we were home for a while and after I was able to post about our overall trip. So here ya go...
Sometimes we find ourselves in tears at the most surprising times, at least I do, anyway. And I find that unexpected tears can really tell you something about yourself. We've been visiting my in-laws for over a week now, with a trip to Normandy with my parents thrown in the middle of our visit. We put my family on a plane back to the States on Friday and Chud and I have been shacking up in a cozy cabin in Gien for the last five days, spending as much time with his family as we can. Dinner in the evenings, a badmitton tournament all day Saturday (his sister won 3rd place!), fishing on Father's Day, picking Dorinda up from school - all the little snippets of time that seemed to stretch on and on and on. As an outsider who has to work really hard to undrestand the gist of every conversation, I admit there were times when I was counting down the days until our departure - especially the day I was sick. I've been dreaming of our own time together in the South of France; the romantic respite after two weeks with family.
Tonight, however, I found myself in tears as we drove away from the little white gate in front of our family's house. After we kissed everyone goodbye and I said "Merci pour tous, merci beaucoup!" over and over, we were walking to the car and I caught a glimpse of my Father in Law out of the corner of my eye. He raised his hand in the air toward my husband and said, in a quiet, manly, solemn way, "Au revoir, S--." I thought about that tinge of sorrow in his voice as I climbed in the front seat and before I knew it I was crying! I didn't want to be crying; hadn't I been looking forward to this? Suddenly I realized how heartbreaking it was to watch a father and son say goodbye to each other for the hundredth time, knowing that they'll only get to talk on Sundays and won't see each other again for at least 2 more years. How do they do this? How have they been able to do this for all this time (since my husband was 12 years old!)? I tried to hold back my silly tears in the car so S wouldn't think I was crazy. Finally, I was quiet for too long and he said (that phrase that knocks every tear-holder to their knees)...
Well, I just let it loose and I sobbed, "I just feel so sorry for your daaaaaaaaaaad...." sniff, sniff, sniff.
"Don't worry, Rach. We've done this lots of times. We're used to it." Long pause....."Why are you crying?"
A very good question.
I had only met this family once before, and I can only understand 1/3 of the things they talk about anyway. Why was I crying? Maybe it's for all of those times my husband had to say goodbye to his "Papa" and because boys don't do enough crying to satisfy me. Someone had to shed some tears for all that heartache, and Lord knows I'm really good at taking on that responsibility. Or maybe it's because we're getting ready to start a family of our own and the thought of separating our future children from my husband is too painful to ponder. Maybe it's because I know, from teaching experience, that kids need their fathers and fathers need their kids. No Dad should ever have to say "Au revoir, S--" the way my Father in Law just said it - filled with years of stolen memories and a heavy heart. That poor guy! We will definately try to see him more often, and next time I won't be counting down the days until the moment we say goodbye.