Well, to recap... Whatever Part It Is... Trying to Achieve Closure



I am “home” in Paris, a living environment that is still rather new for me but not for Popeye. Some days it is hard to reappropriate my space because it is so unfamiliar. But it gets better and better every time  I am back from Brittany where I have felt so safe for much too long. Nowadays there isn’t one single cardboard box lying around anymore. Unopened, I mean… My study is looking great with all my books finally on shelves all around me… Thank you, children! And the whole house is very comfy and welcoming… Thank you, all of us!

Now that everything has been sorted, I feel freer to go outside. Stepping out in Paris is still very stressing. Most people don’t wear masks and mingle freely in stores and venues. I have this feeling (fear actually) that my life will never be the same again no matter what. I just feel so distressed and that’s the unadorned truth, I actually feel scared, really scared from time to time. Those two years spent mainly in voluntary confinement in a very safe and isolated place have changed me so deeply that I feel almost unfit to resume life in society.

I know I am still in danger because nobody knows what Covid-19 can do to me with my medical history. I am not sure I would really like to go through another bad experience like my friend C. (who caught Covid during chemo a few weeks ago). People around me have been vaccinated and “boosterized” just like me but they get sick nevertheless, some very badly and others with a couple of very light symptoms, all of them different. So all I hear while trying to come back into real life is : “Be very careful!”. I am careful and I really would like to resume a normal life and then I hear it again and again : “Be very, very, very careful!”

A few months ago, we decided to move forward a little bit. We took a couple of trips. They were very enjoyable but not as enjoyable as they might have been. I saw so many people looking and acting very comfortable while I was shrinking back from time to time…

It didn’t help talking with one of my doctors who has been one of the first cases of Covid-19 in France, in April 2020. The experience scared (scarred?) him so much that he still has problems relaxing and having a normal social life.

I was looking through pictures from 2020 the other day since I’d really like to resume blogging again, probably my way to achieve closure. It really bothers me that my last post ends with “To be continued…” and dates from the end of March 2021.

I was rather hit again by the fact that we did live for so long in complete isolation. I knew this of course but it did not help to look at those three sad people walking on deserted beaches or in the garden… Waiting desperately for the missing one so far away… And very unhappy...

There was a very happy wedding in February but our children ended up living apart for ten long months because of lockdowns and tightly closed borders.

I found again the “picture of our daughter's picture” I had printed on a transparency and glued on the plate glass that’s between our kitchen and the living room so that our girl would be there closer to us than in a frame! But honestly this really didn’t work much to alleviate the pain of separation, especially for her husband even though her steadfast smile was most of the time very helpful through our personal lockdown tensions.


And then early December, one phone call… R. had been contacted by the French embassy… She was allowed to fly back to France on the 11th of December… There were so many practical problems to be solved that we decided to really rejoice only when R. would be with us in Brittany for Christmas.

France was again in lockdown since the end of October. SP had to fill forms and prepare several written proofs to be able to drive back to Paris, meet his wife at the airport and drive back with her to Brittany where they were supposed to stay until… until we had no idea when…

R. would also have to quarantine for ten days and take a new Covid test before being allowed to move from Paris.

So yes, there was rejoicing in Brittany but after ten long months and so many uncertainties, we could only hope that things would go well. We also worried about her parents. India was still in a very strict lockdown. R.’s mom had lost her younger brother to Covid a few months before without being able to grieve properly with her family. There would never be a traditional wedding, such an important event for Indian families. Their daughter was flying away to a faraway country to live with a family (including their son-in-law) they barely knew. They knew we loved her very much but remember, those were Covid times filled with so much anguish…

Since no trains were running, SP drove away a couple of days before R. was supposed to fly back to Paris on the first  French flight allowed to repatriate French nationals and Indian spouses… We waited and waited until we heard that R. was on board. The plane did take off almost on time because due to lockdown, there was almost no smog above Delhi.

And yes, R. landed in Roissy. They were wearing masks for their long awaited reunion… and R. started her ten days long quarantine in our new home.

Eleven days later, the young couple drove back to Brittany, right on time for R.’s first Christmas in France with her husband and her in-laws. 


At long last, there were four plates again on the table… A few months later, there would be only two plates left on our table in Brittany but this would be perfectly alright since there would also be two plates on their own table in London! 




*Good Night, and Good Luck*


Nancy said...

So wonderful that the happy couple was finally able to be happy TOGETHER! The past few years have been so long and hard. I'm glad to hear you are being careful still!

So wonderful to hear from you!

Myrna said...

Amen to all that Nancy says!