Friday, November 14, 2008

A bombshell!

It was meant to be a pleasant get together of us four friends, after one had had an angioplasty which will help her poorly leg and her mobility; just coffee and a few simple treats which MTL had bought specially. J had brought some twenties flapper clothes which she was handing over to a museum. I tried to put them on my model to photograph them but they were too tiny so we had to – rather unsuccessfully - pin them against the model.

We looked at photos of our family – now happily settled in Australia, with a new puppy for J and a horse for F, and remembered this would be the first Christmas for years MTL and I haven’t spent with them. Then M said she had something to tell us which we wouldn’t like: she and her husband had decided that the garden was too much for them and they had decided to sell up and move to another county to be within reach of two of their children. M was the glue which had bonded the four of us together, twenty odd years ago and has been a rock to us all.

By this time M was in bits and had difficulty in speaking whilst we just stared at her in disbelief. It sounds a perfectly reasonable thing to do but we had talked about this many times and all agreed we would stay put if at all possible, for many reasons; but then we never know what fate has in store and how that affects our ability to cope in our surroundings.

The way things, are nothing is going to happen quickly but meanwhile our local Italian has a special lunch time deal so, there a then, I booked a lunch date for the four of us whilst we are all still together.

‘They are not long – the days of wine and roses.’


Kath said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, having friends move away is really difficult! But I "know" you and you will always make the best of things and be positive :o)

apprentice said...

Aw Pat I'm sorry to log on and read this. It must have been quite a blow for you all, especially when M has been the one to keep you all together.

I don't think any stage of life is very easy, especially when it entails saying goodbyes to people you love. I just hope you'll all still manage to meet up a few times a year to enjoy each others company -meanwhile have a blow out at the Italian place


Mei Del said...

who knows what you and your TL might do one day too. sorry to be selfish, but i'm glad i can still read about you here x

Kim Ayres said...


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I know this has to be pretty devistaing Pat...I think of how I would feel if one of my 'dearest' would have to move far away....I am so very sorry you have to go through this....And it does seem to get harder as we get older, because these friendships are so very very precious. And, one cannot make "new" friends and have this closeness right away...It is all about what you all have shared over these many years....Well, you have a little bit of time to get used to it, I guess. I hope your coming "lunch" will be totally delightful!
And your dear MTL and you, with the children in Australia....First Christmas without them....Oh Dear!
Many changes. My heart goes out to you, my dear.

kenju said...

I know you are disappointed. Our friends of 39 years moved away (400+ miles) to be near one of their children. I am sad without them.

John said...

It's a sad time when friends you have known for a long time leave your little world. I have lost a lot of treasured friends to the Grim Reaper recently, and now I feel a great void in my life.

Looking on the bright side I am still in touch with a few old friends via the Internet, and I have made a lot of young friends who, with their fresh optimistic outlook, have made me feel young again!

PI said...

Kath: thank you - that really touched me.

Anna : we'll certainly make the most of the time we still have and we are so lucky to have had 20 years of a great quartet.

Mei del: it's a comfort to have understnding blog friends.

Kim: thank you.

Naaomi: i know you understand and I really should count my blessings. The funny thing was we were so shocked we just stared open -mouthed whilst M was overcome with emotion. It takes a while for it to sink in.

Judy: that is a long way. I'm sure M will be over for visits - if I have anything to do with it. It's the friends who are like an old glove, where you are always at ease with them, that are so rare.

John: over the last - almost three years, I have become very thankful for all the friendship one makes through the internet. It's great to be able to unburden oneself at times, and know that people don't have to listen if they don't want to, and you don't have to bore your nearest and dearest.

savannah said...

hugs for you, sugar, it's never easy when dear friends move away! xoxo

Eryl Shields said...

Oh, Pat I'm so sorry to hear this. And poor M, she must have felt so awful having to tell you. I hope she's not going too far. One of my two closest friends recently moved to New Zealand, and now I have this terrible fear that I'll never see him again.

lom said...

its sad, but time and people move on, and we never know whats just around the corner

Z said...

Daunting for M and her husband too, the prospect of having to make new friends and contacts in a different place. I wonder how M really feels about it, if she was so upset by telling you? Parents can be encouraged by their children to move closer, and it's lovely to be wanted, but the children are busy and don't have the opportunity for daytime meetings, and it's not so easy to build up new friendships such as you describe. I'm sorry, Pat.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Commiz. And that ghastly snob Julian Fellowes pinching your title for his book! There are sometimes awful weeks like this. It gets worse - Mrs Pouncer and I are taking a blog-break too. Not together, I hasten to add.

sablonneuse said...

I'm so sorry to hear your news but I do hope the rest of the group will keep meeting and sharing news. Thank goodness for email and telephone so that you will be able to keep in contact with M even though it won't be the same as your get togethers.

PI said...

Savannah: thank you.

Eryl: that's as bad as Australia. M is moving to near Cheltenham and she is used to the journey visiting her daughters. The snag is travelling gets increasingly difficult with age, and we have an hour's drive on country roads to get to trains. Our own fault - we chose here for peace and quiet.

lom: very true:)

Z: I'm not sure who is the driving force on the move. Neither would do it unless the other was behind it. I have no doubt that M will make friends but she is quite a queen bee here, built on many years working on committees and with groups.
Maybe she'll miss that or maybe she will welcome the rest.
I think one of the things upsetting her was the realisation that her husband wasn't going to get back his previous fitness and many of us have to come to terms with that and the change it makes to our lives.

Daphne: I'm banking on it being a break (yours)and not forever- that would be too cruel.
I think dear Joanie(Collins) was the first to use it (Past Imperfect) - forgotten by me when I used it. If I ever get a publisher no doubt I'll have to think of something else. I'm slowly coming to the end of the editing.
Re the break- we all have times when it seems everyone has forgotten us but it's not about numbers but the quality of the people who visit one- and you have some smashers. Don't rush off unless you must.

Sablonneuse: we will of course but it can never be the same. M is computer illiterate so it will be phones and hopefully visits.

scarlet-blue said...

It'll make things more special when you do meet up, but I know it's horrible when friends move away. And I've had quite enough of that sort of thing this year!

David said...

there is no great loss without some small gain ( pa Ingals)
I hope your friend finds happiness in the move and that God heals that ache in your heart.

PI said...

Scarlet: we've just gotta be strong:)

David: thank you for your wishes. they are comforting.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I know what you're going through, it's the story of my life with all my family and most of my friends living overseas, in fact, for friends I now borrow my cousin Lis' friends, the two who still live here. Thank goodness for the net. Lots of hugs for you from me and mother here.

PI said...

GG: one thing's for sure - it's made me realise how lucky the four of us have been for over twenty years. As my Dad used to say 'Nothing is for ever.'