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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Goodbye to England, and Hello to my sister

Here we are then, all set. My big bag is now down to 23kg, my two carry on bags about 500kg each. I've checked in online - seat 40k, just behind the right-hand wing, by the window.

It's been a really 'full' day. It's featured a lot of packing and repacking, backing up data, eating, thinking and feeling funny. And a final visit to our wedding oak, which is doing well in the Millennium Wood.

This morning, mum No.2 and her daughter (old school friend) came round to eat cake and say goodbye. That was very much appreciated.

I'm very excited, but nervous too. My schedule for the first couple of weeks is already pretty jam-packed - the result of a long wait (of 13 months) by *Twinkle* to have me back in the country.

I think I'm more prepared for this trip than any other before now. I have a clear picture of what needs doing when. The reality that awaits me is already a reality in my head, based on my knowledge and experience of the places I need to go, the people I need to see, the things I need to do. There's not much by way of unknowns, just lots of knowns - in a new context.

I've enjoyed being around mum and dad today. They've been very well-behaved, and supportive of me in my state of change. Thank you both. Dad has also written a little card for me with some things to keep in mind. I'm touched by how appropriate it is, and will carry it with me, referring to it when need be in Japan. Mum has also helped me a great deal, as mentioned below. Thanks mum.




Today has been a very unusual day, in that as well as my preparing to leave for a new life in Japan, I have spent a good deal of time getting to know my sister, Catherine. Catherine, who bravely battled against a complex mental illness, committed suicide at the age of fifteen - I was three at the time. I remember virtually nothing of her life or death, but have always felt close to her. I'm told that we were close. I've long known that at some point I would need to form a new relationship with her.

The timing may seem strange, but it was only last night, during a coaching session, that it became apparent that it had to be now. I won't be back here for a long time, and this is the place where her belongings, letters, and the diary in which she write of her feelings during her final few months, are recorded.

I read them all, and made digital copies of those that struck me as especially important, in order that I can think on them more in Japan. I also packed the blanket that she made for me, and from which I couldn't be parted as a child. I had been planning to leave it here in the UK.

Catherine really was very brave. The letters of condolence from people who worked with her were full of praise for her friendly, caring, thoughtful manner. But behind her smile there was a huge battle taking place. It's only today, reading her diary and talking to mum for a couple of hours that I have started to get an idea of just how hard life was for her.

Catherine lives on in all of us siblings, and in our parents too. I've long felt supported by her, and I hope that through the work I'll be doing over the next few weeks, I can start to feel settled in my relationship with her.

I'll do my absolute best to make this new life something wonderful that benefits all those that know me.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Orchid64 said...

Have a safe flight. :-)

Sorry about your sister, though.

4/9/08 16:01  
Blogger Alice said...

my two carry on bags about 500kg each
Either you have the biggest arms in the WORLD, or that's a typo ;-)

I had about 60kg on me in total coming back from Okinawa and didn't get charged by either ANA or BA, it was amazing/really REALLY lucky because I had no money at all.

Say hello to Japan for me. I miss it so. & of course GOOD LUCK!

4/9/08 18:57  
Blogger Granny Williams said...

Never in the history of this blog has there been such a big gap in the almost hourly updates !

Phew ! I can read some of my other friends blogs for a while ...

XX Granny

5/9/08 04:39  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thank you Orchid64. Got here safely, mind still not sure what country it's in!

Alice - you were lucky! My bags felt like they were about 500kg, although in practice I think they were more like 15 :-)

I just said hello to Japan for you. It's hot.

Granny, fear not, I am back online!

5/9/08 12:37  

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