We wouldn't be going without your kind generosity and I do so very much appreciate it. We both desperately need a holiday and some sun ... and to be visiting Tim for the first time since he and Anastasia moved to Cyprus two years ago is such a treat. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
It seems so significant that a year minus two days since I found the first bump, we are going to a Christening of a much-loved son's daughter. Ariadne's Christening is on my birthday, in the cathedral in Nicosia.
Tim's father, Jon, was Lion's best friend for 18 years. He was murdered in 2006 saving the life of an elderly lady who was being attacked in their block of flats in Croydon. Lion and Tim had met at Jon's second wedding and known each other off and on through more than a decade. But I first met Tim when we picked him him at Kings Cross station in London four days after Jon died. He had taken the train from his home in Edinburgh and we had driven down from Worcestershire to pick him up and take him to identify his father's body.
This tall red-headed lad came out of the station and smiled nervously at us and climbed into the back of our car where Puzzle, our 11-year-old beagle (an experienced mother), pressed her warm furry body against him and, when he opened his arms to her, climbed on his lap to love him.
He held her with his head buried in her fur all the way to Croydon and, when he had stood with me for a moment looking through the glass at his father's body, said 'yes, that's him,' he walked out, he took her lead from Lion, who was waiting outside, and walked her round the block.
He stayed that night at the home of another friend of Jon's just half an hour from his Dad's home, David got him comfortingly drunk on good wine and food and put him to bed. Lion and I stayed in Jon's flat (which Lion and he had shared in earlier days) and searched for his will. As we hoped, it left everything to Tim.
For two days, we talked with police, sorted stuff out and made plans and by then, Tim and I loved each other. Maybe it was the war spirit but I have no physical child of my own but if I had, it would have been Tim. Karma perhaps—past-life stuff—I don't know. But his Christmas cards read 'Mum and Dad no. 2'
We were with him at the Old Bailey as the man who had killed his father sat in the dock, we talked of the whys and wherefores and we loved his visits at Christmas and New Year. And when he and Natasha got together he wanted us to meet her before they flew off for their new life together.
So, on 26th of April I will hold the grand daughter I never thought I would have in my arms and I will give her my grandmother's pearls with a note telling her their provenance and how Margery Hayward met George Crosbie when a Zeppelin came down in Suffolk at the end of the First World War. He was guarding it and she rode out on her bicycle with a raincoat over her nightdress to see what on earth had happened that had lit up the sky in flames.
They say that blood is thicker than water but soul-connections are stronger even than that.
N.B. This isn't what I intended to write at all this evening—but there you go. I was going to write about the love and healing and forgiveness between my mother this week. But that will have to wait for another day.