Photo of my parents in 1961 in Córdoba, Spain – from their archives
Medjool and I have just had a lovely 10 day “working break”, based mostly at my parents’ house in Céret in the Pyrénées Orientales, just inside France on the Franco-Spanish border. Now into their 80s, I try to get down to spend a week there a few times a year, even if I largely spend it working. I don’t feel I can just take time off for these kinds of weeks – I am still catching up on seven-ish years of very tiny earnings, due to all of the Dyings, Deaths and Griefs – not to mention COVID-times, which was mildly disruptive, to say the least. When at my parents, I take the weekends off, and one additional day in the working week, then work the rest of the time, remotely, just like I do at home.
I think it works well – at least for me. I get to see my parents, make dinner a few times, play piano duets with my dad, go out for some walks and runs with them, and enjoy conversations we wouldn’t otherwise have if I had stayed at home. And, of course, I recognise that they still do a lot to prepare a bed, get in additional food, and more. I am grateful to still get quality time with them.
This time Medjool joined me. He too works independently, and with a bit of planning can work remotely and take time off as he pleases. He has come to enjoy having time with my parents, loves the scenery where they live, and a precious bond has developed. Eighteen or so months ago, in early January 2022 – my dad warmly expressed his appreciation to Medjool, saying that he was one of the best things that had happened to our family in recent years. I wrote about it here: http://www.widowingemptynests.com/2022/01/03/one-of-the-best-things/
This week, at one of our evening dinners, “comme ça”, out of the blue, Medjool spoke these words to my parents: “As you might know, since my separation, I have had a few relationships. I want you to know that my relationship with Emma is not “just another relationship”. I want you to know that this is the type of relationship I always wanted and never had”. He later added to me that he feels like he has “come home”.
It was a beautiful and tender moment. Both men’s eyes mistier than their respective partners. I think my parents just nodded quietly and appreciatively, left a bit of space, then said simply, “Thank you”.
For what else is there to say?
I am sure that parents always worry about their children’s well-being, even if these children are in their mid-50s. I know my parents want me to be happy, and that happy, for them, as for me, includes being in a meaningful relationship.
It was a truly precious moment. I feel honoured, enormously privileged, to have been in relationships with two different men for whom the love felt like “home”. For these were the words Mike used too.
I occasionally noodle possible titles for an eventual book I might write about my life experiences – should I ever get around to doing so. Some pretty awful titles come to mind, like “From Five to Three”. But another, more hopeful one, could be, “She who was loved well, twice”.
Yes, I have been lucky in love. Whatever else might come to pass, this much I know.