Monday, 16 August 2010

A slice of cucumber

rainy, stormy, very humid, temps 25


Wow, were we pooped! Sort of giddy. The flight was perfect...and not really all that long from Vancouver to Montreal. We were lucky the festival paid for the upgrade to - not business class - but the next best thing...the emergency exit seats. Air Canada, like many carriers, is now charging for the extra legroom seats...which is fine with me. Means we're guaranteed to get them, if we book early enough. but air Canada is so cheap I suspect if anything happened to the plane they'd charge people to use the emergency exit.

Michael slept a bit but I just relaxed, listened to music, read, watched old episodes of some forgettable sitcom. - I've forgotten which one. And just had a nice flight.

Got in, got the bags, grabbed a cab...that for me is one of the ahhhh moments in travel...sitting back in the taxi on the way home. No more worries, no wondering if this will go OK, or that will happen. What a waste of time worry is, and I'm sure getting better - but it still feels amazing to lean back in the taxi and look out the window. Phew.

I loaded the car while Michael went to the apartment and picked up whatever we'd left (mostly recycling) - then we whizzed down to the Granby Hospital - and there was Jacques, sitting up in bed eating cucumber fresh from their garden! For a man we never thought we'd see again he was looking very much alive. And laughing, and the look on his face as he ate the thin slice of cucumber. Better than a lottery win, better than 600 threat count sheets, better than any upgrade or luxury suite.

We tried not to stay too long and tire him out, but it's hard because we love his company, and he's very gracious. We went with Louise to the family lounge and had a wonderful talk. She told me in the evenings, in their quiet time, she reads The Brutal Telling to him until he's too tired, and he falls asleep.

I can't tell you what that means to me, and does to me, to hear that. Better than any upgrade, or luxury suite, or 600 threat count sheets. But perhaps not quite as splendid as a single slice of cucumber.

Susan's arriving in an hour or so to stay at the cottage. The young couple who are there will leave in a couple of hours. She's Kelley - the daughter of our friend Wilder, and her husband is Brent. They have a 2 year old daughter, Freya. Brent is a doctor and has been deployed to Afghanistan. He's been there 6 months. This is his leave, so we gave them the cottage so that the family could be alone. Their thin slice of cucumber. But we did drop by briefly yesterday afternoon to say hi. We'd never met Brent. They're very brave. As are thousands and thousands of families - as you know.

We had a nap, then had dinner, and went to bed again. Fell asleep knowing how lucky we are - deep dreams of peace.


lil Gluckstern said...

What strikes me is how good you are to people who are going through a lot of stuff, and your wisdom in seeing the joy in a slice of cucumber. Welcome home.

suzy said...

A slice of cucumber will never look the same......thanks for the reminder.

Mary said...

Welcome home - take time to breathe, and yes, thank you for always reminding us to appreciate the simple and beautiful things in our lives.

Diane said...

You have such a gift for writing. The blogs are seamless in their beauty. That slice of cucumber - fragile in its great beauty. Thank you for sharing so openly with all of us.

Lee Ann said...

Prayers for Brent's safe return home, and for Jacques and Louise.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hello all,

Once again, I feel your embrace, and your presence. Thank you. the beauty of being allowed to be with jacques at this time is seeing that he isn't so busy dying as he's busy living.