Some sad personal news
Today, there is no normal Edges and Entries.
This week has been a difficult one. My wife, Aurélie, went with our daughter, Ailsa, to collect her mum from the train station, who was returning from a visit to see her other daughter and family in Thailand.
Aurélie instead found the body of her father, Jef. Obviously, we are all devastated and shocked and, as such, I’m sure you understand that a week off makes sense. For this to happen on that particular day makes it especially difficult—an occasion which should have been joyful suddenly becoming something other.
We saw Jef the weekend before this last one, and we had a lovely time (and our first barbecue of the season). Aurélie also saw him on Thursday night, when our car broke down and he drove out to pick her up and lend theirs, even though he wasn’t feeling very well at the time. That was Jef, through and through, always helping others, always being of service when he could. He made a real difference to the lives of so many.
Ailsa, who is two years and nearly four months, seems to understand a little of what is going on, but it is a bit confusing for her (she’s also very sensitive to the emotions of others, so managing that is tricky). I know she’ll miss her Papi, as they had a great relationship, but I am also very glad that he knew her.
For me—and for Jef—I know we were both frustrated at times by the language barrier. My French and his English weren’t good enough to have the sorts of conversations I know we wanted, to be able to talk about history, about culture, archaeology, nature and the whole world of wonders we live in. Yet knowing that we both shared interests in these fields was often enough—and we tried.
I haven’t managed to reply to all your recent comments as I wished. I know those of you who are already a part of this community understand that sometimes it can take a wee while to do so. For those of you who commented for the first time, thank you—I promise I will reply as soon as I can.
I considered sending this from The Crow’s Nest, rather than as part of Edges and Entries but, upon reflection, I think it fits here. We are all born and we all die—what we do between this points could be defined as liminal, after all, and what we do between those points is what matters. That is the essence of this series, those in-between spaces and states of mind, so this fits.
For now, I’ll leave this (I only intended a brief note, but it grew a little) and get it sent after one final favour—it is just a small thing but, if you could all reach out to someone you care about and love, and let them know that, then I think that seems a fitting thing to ask.
Take care of each other.