Most of my life has been smooth sailing. Except for having to move almost every year all through elementary school and make new friends which was really difficult for an introvert like me, my first 18 years were pretty much bliss. I went to school which I loved, did my homework, got good grades, and my mom did everything else while my dad worked 12-hour days. Yes, I was spoiled. However, my mom passed on some valuable lessons which have served me well. She taught me to be tough, learn to live with difficult situations, and not complain or cry about things. One of her favorite expressions was “This too shall pass”. It drove me crazy when I was young, but I have experienced the truth of it many times as an adult.
There are bound to be some choppy seas in your life. For me they have been things like going back to work after 6 weeks following both of my C-sections, divorce, and two major surgeries to name just a few. Sometimes you encounter gale force winds and even hurricanes. Such was the case at the beginning of this summer. Fortunately by now things have settled into a rather moderate breeze. However, I would never have been able to navigate the rough waters without the help, care, and concern of so many people.
First and foremost is my wonderful husband, Norman. Until just recently, he has had to do absolutely everything for us the entire summer. He has done it all without complaint making me feel comfortable and safe at all times… making sure I got the care I needed. It hasn’t been easy. Over the past 22 years, he has guided me through many storms. He has been the captain of our ship and I have been his first mate. He has always managed to keep our morale up and help me stay in good spirits despite the difficulty or uncertainty of the situation. I never could have survived any of it without him.
Our son, Lorenzo, made his first trip to Europe this summer. The original plan was for him to spend several days with us in France. We were really excited about having the opportunity to share with him the France we love. However, we had to return home before he even arrived. In the end, he probably had more fun without us adding Barcelona to his London and Paris itinerary with the change of plans. Throughout his overly busy Apple work life and his exciting European adventure, he has made a point of checking in with me to see how I’m doing. That has meant the world to me.
We have also been fortunate to have some British friends in France we met while staying in their gîtes on previous trips who helped us chart our course. They offered assistance and advice, checked in with us from time to time, visited, and made us feel a little less lost at sea so far away from home.
Then there’s the wonderful Pérez crew — all nine siblings plus their spouses, nieces and nephews — many of whom have sent e-mails and get well cards, telephoned, and just generally stayed in touch the whole time to find out how I’m doing. It has been so uplifting to have that kind of support.
My side of the family is rather small, but I have had a dedicated crew in them as well. They have made a point of checking in on a regular basis and it has been very much appreciated.
I am fortunate to count among my friends many very special shipmates who followed my progress, helped me conquer my fears of some of the big waves, and encouraged me to stay onboard.
For now, I’m happy to report that we seem to be heading back on course and looking forward to more smooth sailing very soon. I’m hoping to stay on an even keel for this last year teaching. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the little things you have done to make this journey more bearable. You float my boat!