4,000 km…. but not the road trip I had in mind

Life is just weird. The road trip I had started in September was going to be amazing! My itinerary was going to take me to fantastic places I had meant to visit for a long time. It was a solo road trip where I was going to be free. It was going to be about 4,000 kilometers which is quite a bit to drive alone. But that was ok.

Somehow, I had doubts. I had mentioned this in my latest post. Doubts I wasn’t going to see everything I wanted to see. Doubts I would manage to do all the things I wanted to do. I was also a bit worried that this trip was going to be a trip down to memory lane. With the anniversary of my mom’s passing coming and considering some of the places I had planned to go to, these were justified worries!

It all started so well. Amazingly well in fact! My first stop at the Ronchamp Chapel filled my hearts with hope. My first night at the Royal Saltworks of Arc et Senans was just memorable. Can you imagine a gal like me, a UNESCO World Heritage lover, pretty much alone in a UNESCO World Heritage site!?! Yeah just as thrilled as you can possibly imagine!

For a few precious days, I was walking on water. Everything was perfect.

I was well prepared too! The trunk of the car was filled with everything I would need for a perfect trip. This included a bottle of Pineau, a sweet wine that I happily drank on the first night, in my vintage folding silver cup! 😉 I got standards!!

Pineau des Charentes drank in style!Not the best picture but what a great memory! 😉

Now, you do not need to read the next part of this post. This is again one of these post I maybe shouldn’t write. This blog wasn’t meant to be a place where I pour my soul and demons. This was supposed to be my creative space only. Now, my life having been slightly difficult this past year, I have taken the liberty of flooding it with insight into my darkest thoughts. So no, you don’t need to read the rest of this post. You can check out the links above to the fantastic places I’ve been instead. 

If you like motorcycles, then you can check out my dad’s bike

If you have one or both or your parents around, then maybe you should read what’s below. 

 

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After a few days, I made my first stop to visit my dad. I had planned 2 stops there during this trip, but this was were my trip, my happiness was going to end. I just didn’t know it when I arrived.

My dad had not been feeling well for a couple of months. He was slowly giving up on everything, being unable to do the things he wanted to do. But he had finally agreed to see a doctor and on this beautiful afternoon of October, we went to the doctor’s office, chatting about the work we’ll be doing afterwards on his bike. Oblivious to what was to come.

The electrocardiogram was so alarming that the doctor didn’t want him to leave the office. He was to go immediately to the hospital. We left. Both stunned. I’m pretty sure, he was thinking this was going to be a one way trip. I put myself in ‘organisation mode’. Pack suitcase, take glasses, water, snacks, call my brother… ‘organisation mode’ is my protection mode, one I had taken wholeheartedly a year before, when my mom passed away. The timing could have not been worst.

Against medical advise I took him to the emergencies myself. The sun was shinning. It was a beautiful autumn day.

He was taken in immediately after we arrived. Neither of us really knew how these things work. He had never been hospitalized before, neither had I.

Late that day, I drove back to his home, alone. I realized that night that it was the 2nd time in my life that I slept alone in the house. The first time was when I was eighteen. I cried. I cried all night, scared and alone again.

The following 4 weeks felt like a preview of what hell might be.

Tears and fears that rip your inside apart, constant phone calls, paperwork, household chores all packed in the mornings. The one hour drive to get to the hospital was all the time I had to try my best to wipe away all the worries and tears and look, somehow, cheerful and optimistic. The drive back at night was my personal hell. Everyday it felt like I had taken him to the slaughter-house and abandoned him there. This is not a critic of the hospital he was in. It is just how I felt. No matter how many people told me I did the right thing by taking him to the hospital, that’s how I felt, everyday, leaving him there.

After a week, he was released for a few days which I spent with him trying to make sure nothing happened to him. The surgery was to take place in a different hospital and as the date came closer, our worries became more and more obvious. I should have said from the beginning that he is now ok. The heart surgery went very well and he is back home and back on his bicycle!

Well I should actually stop there anyway. You don’t need all the details of what went on. So yeah, he is doing fine. I’ll get better as well.

And as for the title of this post? Well, I did drive over 4,000 km while my dad was in hospital, going back and forth. Hummm. So, yeah, it wasn’t the trip I had in mind!

 

1sy Anniversary

 

Like for the other posts in this category, I am mostly writing this for myself. To not forget completely and learn from these experiences. Having said that, some of you might learn a thing or 2 from these. Or maybe just relate a little. Maybe it will help you feel a little bit better, if faced with the same sorts of situation.

The ones of you who could learn from this are men. Yes, you guys. Let me tell you why…

I have 2 brothers, 2 bigger brothers. We’ll call them A & B. And I want to tell you: don’t be like A& B!

When my mom passed away, I blamed myself for the way things went. I organized everything because of the way I am. I was pretty pissed at B who spent his time cleaning his garage. And A who came and went the day of the funeral. My partner f*cking stayed a whole week. A & B got 3 days of free vacation and came only one day. Congratulations.

A’s guilt of not having seen his mom before she passed was written on his face. He was supposed to come and then delayed by one week and then another. He had planned to come on Sunday. She passed on Saturday. It was probably really hard for him. I thought it was a lesson he would have learned. Time seems to show he didn’t.

B’s son did not come to my mom’s funeral. He was too traumatized was the official version. B really thinks he is so smart but unfortunately, I know the truth and I won’t forget.

On the funeral day, they both made big promises to be more present for our dad, especially in front of the rest of the family. It’s been a year since those promises and A came to visit him twice. Next month will be the 3rd in a year.  Congratulations!

When dad was at the hospital getting heart surgery, B went on vacation. He didn’t cancelled, he didn’t even shorten his vacation to come visit. He didn’t call his dad either. I f$cking cancelled my vacation to be with our dad, I f*cking cancelled my life for 2 months to be there for him. I don’t ask for a medal, I’m not a saint. But I’m starting to think my brothers are f*cking selfish assholes. Oh, and B was supposed to take care of my dad’s rabbits, I guess I’ll never find out who did if anyone did, while he was gone.

A couldn’t come to the hospital either the first week. His wife and him have only one car and she had to have it that week. Well guess what? My partner and I only have one car as well, so I f*cking rented one. Yeah, I’ve been renting cars for 2 months now. Should I let him know how much it has cost me? Should I add up the gas and highway tolls as well?

At one point when our dad was in the hospital, I went home for 3 days for a few work emergencies. The 2nd hospital my dad was in was 25km away from where A lives. One day, I got a text saying he spent 2 hours and 15 minutes with him. He was somehow proud of himself. Well I guess he does deserve a medal there! Should I mention that I was in the hospital everyday from 1 to 7 PM apart from these few days?

I think I am overall a decent human so I’ll never tell dad I had to remind B, of the day of the passing of his mom and ask him to join us at the cemetery. Dad will always believe that B came from his own volition. He was really pleased to see him there. That was also just before the surgery so there was a special meaning in their goodbyes when we parted.

Those are just examples of how my big brothers handled the situation and these are the things I want to recall of these difficult days: My brothers as f*cking selfish assholes and their petty lies and excuses are appalling. Yeah I get it, they have kids. I don’t. They have a job and seem to think I don’t. I do obviously. They have responsibilities and seem to think I don’t. They have lives and apparently I don’t!

The truth is that they make choices. They made the choice of not being there for their dad, when most needed, because of what ever reason. I don’t think it is a good example they give to their kids, but that’s just my opinion.

So don’t be like A&B!

If you are lucky to still have your parents with you, take care of them. I know it’s easier said than done. I know they probably drive you crazy. Mine did all the time. But the special moments I now share with my dad are invaluable. My brothers are idiots.

I don’t want to become a bitter bitch because of them. I’m mad, so f*cking mad at them. But I don’t want these feelings to become a permanent part of me. I want it to fade, like the pain of loosing my mom slightly faded. Nether the less, I don’t want to forget. It’s another thing I don’t want to forget or forgive, or both, I’m still not quite sure.

 

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To my brothers:

I wish that, when you are old and in need, your children will take as good care of you, as you did take care of our parents. So mote it be! 

I may not be a witch, but these words shall be forever, in the infinite universe of the internet, written. 😉

 

Playing with fire