I’ve spent the last two days inside my tiny apartment nursing a stubborn cold. In my bedroom rather. I guess they are one in the same really. I’ve spent a lot of time in this room. It has served as my bedroom, our living room, our dining room, and a guest bedroom. My walls are covered in postcards from our travels, inspirational quotes rewritten in my favorite calligraphy pen and the four-foot words HAPPY BDAY, Collin’s contribution to my special day last fall. When we first arrived these walls were blank, an off-white zigzag patterned nothingness with bright blue closet doors where now my “firefighter” calendar resides. A humorous night I remember well, not too long after we first arrived. A ring to the bell, and another told me my landlady was not home so I was left to answer the door. Nervously, I opened the door to a most dreamy firefighter if I ever saw one. Through my slowed thought process, he finally conveyed he was selling calendars. I of course was flat broke, in no need of a calendar, but eagerly found the five Euros without hesitation only to find its monthly pictures to be of helicopters, ladders, gurneys and the sort. Needless to say I was slightly disappointed, but hung it regardless, where it now has a circle around the 25th. Less than two weeks away now.
I walked to the school for the last time the other day to pick up some paperwork. I ran into one of my favorite teachers and we talked together for a while. She said I had made much progress, and hoped we made it back to France someday, commending me again on my courage. When out and about it is her voice I hear when I make a mistake or do something right. She was always laughing with us, and making our lessons fun. Often she would say, “Ah, C’est une salade!”, when handing out test scores or other graded work. I will miss hearing her voice.
Collin came home from school, just for a moment, only to say he was heading out with friends. Telling me this while he grabbed a pot of water and dumped it out his window in hopes of catching an unaware friend below our 10th story apartment. They’re wise to his trickeries by now, ducking under cover just in time. Talk about courage! What a kid huh? The goof.
I’ve had the most amazing experiences and have met so many wonderful people, that I can’t find the words to express the mixture of emotions I'm feeling. I hear Madame Paget's singsong voice again. It typifies my emotions lately. It is a salad. Of joy, and of sorrow. I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement, for the laughs and the struggles too. For the bravery of a child, and for dreams coming to fruition. And as I move on I eagerly look forward to the next chapter of my adventure, for another blank canvas to decorate with my treasures.
So to most of you, whose hugs I’ve been anxiously awaiting, I’ll see ya soon! But Ahh how I dread good-byes, so to the others, I’ll just say adieu and gros bisous à tous!
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