Ordinarily, the prospect of a trip to New Zealand is one which fills me with glee. Today, however, I’ve just booked a trip home because my mother called me last night to give me a familial update: my 95 year old grandmother (my father’s mother) has bowel cancer and, in the words of her doctor, ‘anybody wanting to visit her should do so this year and not next year’. The good news is that she doesn’t seem to be in pain (and will be given morphine if things do get bad). The bad news – obviously – is that my Nanna, who I love very much, is dying. I will miss her a great deal.
My mother counselled against travelling home one last time, pointing out that it is sometimes better to remember people as they were, rather than as they are towards the end. I can see the wisdom of that and I know that I will find it easier if I stay in the UK and deal with this from afar, but I also feel like I will regret it if I don’t see her again. So I’ve just booked an eye-wateringly expensive economy class flight home, all to spend ten days in NZ and, I hope, have a few decent visits with Nanna (during which she is bound to ask, more than once, where Tristan is – she worships Tristan). It will be really nice to be home again for a few days as well and see the rest of the family, of course!
It’s times like this that living abroad really sucks. Thank goodness that I work for people who are very decent and understanding. And thank goodness that we’ve got enough money to afford a trip – it would be too grim for words if I couldn’t go.