Sunday, 6 January 2019
BECAUSE I CAN ....... LINDA MITCHELMORE
I don't make New Year Resolutions ..... not since the time I bought a very expensive, leather, diary vowing to write something in it every day and didn't get past 11th January. But I do have a little homily for a bit of forward-thinking. I call it my BECAUSE I CAN principle. I apply it to all sorts of things ..... having to face the dreaded dentist's chair I tell myself that my now no longer with us next-door-neighbour, Judy, would love to be in that position, so I sit there and grimace and bear it 'because I can'. And I have more reasons now to apply this theory/homily/principal .... call it what you will. The first week of January is not yet over and already I've had more sad news than I normally get in a year ..... two (late) miscarriages, one stroke, one serious illness, two deaths .... and all close to me. I won't go into detail about them all but my BECAUSE I CAN voice will be loud and clear this year. The news that has hit me the hardest is the news I was expecting .... the death of the French friend I've had for sixty years, since we were both eleven - she learning English, and me learning French we became penfriends. She came to stay with me and my family many times but I think we visited her and her family far more. Our photograph albums are sprinkled with photos of us together. One that we both kept was taken when we were both seventeen, sitting on my boyfriend's - now husband - Norton. When Marie-Claire came over when we were both in our late sixties we re-did the photo shoot, as it were.
I've not been on the back of that motorbike much in recent years but this year I will ..... 'because I can'. The last time I saw Marie-Claire her sister, Agnes, and children were on the cusp of finding permanent care for her. Marie-Claire, Agnes, and I spent a day in Rouen reminiscing about the time I went to the lycee with them for six weeks and stayed at their home. It was a bittersweet day - sometimes Marie-Claire forgot who I was, and sometimes she forgot who she was, but then she would suddenly correct my French - as she had always done! - and we were back together again.