We are home safe from the icy house of two halves. With every tear of joy reunion, a waterfall of sadness at leaving must come again. It does not get any easier. Four months will pass until next we meet and April seems such a long time away.
The older children will not forget us, our faces are almost as familiar to them as those of their parents, even the toddler will not look vaguely upon us as we appear – often as buffering images – on ‘mummy’s’ phone or iPad. The baby however is a different matter.
For her we have been just two more faces blending together like a field of smiling sunflowers, only those she sees hourly/daily will stay within her mind. Over two wonderful weeks the bond we have shared has for her already been forgotten, as I write this post.
When next our eyes meet her smile may be wary, without the slow spreading radiance we have lately enjoyed. Instead of relying on us for support she will likely be sitting unaided, possibly even rolling over from back to front – as we left she was already halfway there!
We are as Grandparents not alone of course in our present situation and luckier than many. Cyprus is not the other side of the world, taking only one days travelling by car and plane. Nevertheless the enforced separations only accentuate the speed at which all the Children but especially baby, develop over days rather than weeks.
Last night though, my sadness at leaving was tempered on our arrival back at Heathrow and still further as our onward journey, on a motorway blanketed by thick fog made driving conditions hazardous. I could not but think as we drove slowly along – ever mindful of what may lie in the murkiness ahead – of the families lives torn apart by recent road accidents in conditions just such as these.
Fate dealt me a lucky hand at escaping the carnage of my own crushed vehicle and as the many miles separate us all once more, I feel thankful for the continued time to spend with family and friends. For some in an instant that has been cruelly taken away.