The time came, last night, to say good bye to Derek. I was also supposed to leave (with him) but then I had my unexpected ankle surgery. Now four weeks, after the surgery, with two tendon repairs and a pulley system built up (a plate screwed into my ankle bone) and still not weight bearing I have moved in with a friend to recover sufficiently to make the trip to Scotland. We are hoping it might be the 7th September but it will be up to the doctor and my progress. Derek is going ahead of me to Scotland to settle into the accommodation waiting for us. He needs to set up his international office from Scotland as soon as possible.
The reason I write this evening is because I wanted to catch you up a little on what’s going on in our life since I have been preoccupied with organizing and arranging our move across to Scotland. I am not going to tell you all about my life in the past while, that’s for another day. I am going to try put into words what it feels like saying good bye as it is not something we are accustomed to.
We have known each other since we were nine years old, were best friends since we were sixteen, and started dating at seventeen. A year later Derek conscripted to permanent air force training for fifteen months. It was sad, but as our lives were not interwoven like now, it was bearable. I thought of it as a test to see how strong the relationship was. We have been apart for a week or two over the years but this time it is going to be a month. I think the disappointment is that we wanted to do this move together.
It feels really hard after almost thirty-six years of being together as we have grown to each other’s ways, learnt to accommodate, developed good communication skills, and have really learnt to share the ups and downs by supporting each other through them. I would say that we have become robust enough to withstand the bumpy times as well. That for us is all part of the love for each other.
So saying good bye, even although it is not final, is not easy. We both agreed we were in a bit of denial leading up to the time. Yet apart from the denial we had lots of things to do step by step. There was no time for sitting around and moping. We had so much to organize with regards to packing up the flat, seeing that we were taking what we needed on the flight, my ankle surgery and recovery, selling cars, organizing animals, seeing that Derek’s business makes as smooth a transition as possible; well the list is extensive so I will stop there.
And so the final hour arrived. What can I say? One has to resign oneself to the inevitable, let go and surrender, know there will be an end to it, look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, look for the blessings and the things to be grateful for, as well acknowledge the weirdness of it; the weirdness of not being together, and not being able to discuss things. There is feelings sadness or being alone, since we shared just about every meal together as Derek worked on the premises.
I know that from every situation I have been in I have taken the opportunity to learn something and to make the best of it. I intend to treat this time as a retreat as I am supposed to rest and recover. My mandate is to slow down and rest. For me this means making space for myself to think, contemplate, be aware, observe, learn, and to consolidate the recent events of the last year.
Many people have faced being apart and much worse so I am sure that we will both look back on the time with some type of appreciation for the strength, patience, and resilience we have developed.
I am enjoying the peace and quiet while staying at a nature reserve; what better place to retreat to, to recover!