Journey of a Lifetime

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

She's going on an adventure - but it's hard to say goodbye.

Journey of a lifetime.

The day had finally arrived, as it inevitably would, time has a way of sneaking up on us like that.  Mind you she had been planning it for a year so I’d had time to prepare, I couldn’t claim I wasn’t ready.  But still, the tiny knots in my stomach had grown into bow ties making me feel nauseous, and I could sense a headache fast approaching.  “Do you want any help?”  I enquired, seeing her squashing the suitcase down with her body weight. 

“No, its fine, just need to…”  She wrestled with the case, it wasn’t really big enough, but she had insisted, when we were out shopping for luggage, that she needed to travel light.  I gazed out of her bedroom window.  Even though the sun had only just begun to rise, it was going to be another glorious day. That was something at least; good weather for travelling, that ferry across the water was a notorious stomach churner.


I thought back to when she first discussed the idea of travelling, ‘what am I waiting for?’ She had said.  And I had reluctantly agreed, she was right, there was nothing holding her back, I couldn’t tell her that I was going to be lonely, rattling around in the empty house.  I couldn’t tell her I was frightened for her – the world could be big bad and dangerous.  And I couldn’t tell her I was sad, that she was moving on without me, leaving me behind.

I didn’t voice these concerns, I didn’t want to be selfish.  But being the intuitive one that she is, we had a heart to heart.  She had encouraged me to find a hobby, meet new people.  She reassured me she would be safe, she promised not to take any risks and would call me regularly. 

And she explained that after the last disastrous relationship ended, she needed to get away, to be alone and discover what she really wanted.  We held each other tightly and shed many tears, but I knew she was right.


So here we are almost a year to the day from that emotional conversation.  “There! Done!”  She exclaimed excitedly, “I’m ready.”

“Really?”  I chuckled, pointing to a pile of underwear on her bed.  “You not going to bother with them?”

“What?”  She looked to where I was pointing, and laughed. “Oh you’re kidding!  Yes, I definitely want them!” 

“Here, let me help.”  We unpacked, rolled, folded, squashed and re-packed until finally it was all in.  “Told you to get the bigger one, didn’t I?”  I commented.

“Yeah, yeah, too late now anyway,” she replied huffily.

“Right, I suppose we’d better get you on the road, the first leg of your epic adventure.”  I smiled outwardly, although the familiar stomach knots were returning making me unsure whether I wanted to run to the loo or lay down!

“Ok, I just need a minute,” she croaked, I could see her eyes filling up, oh God, I thought, please no tears. 

“I’ll be loading up the car, see you in a minute,” I left quickly, my own tears threatening to escape.


She came out to the car with a blotchy face and red rimmed eyes.  “Are you ok?”  I asked gently.

“I’m just having a bit of a wobble,” she smiled bravely.  “I am doing the right thing aren’t I?”  Now it was my turn to give encouragement.

 “I think you are going on an amazing journey, where you will discover how strong you really are.  You will meet people who will inspire and encourage you and others that will make you feel fortunate and blessed,” fighting the urge to weep, I took a deep breath and continued.

“I have nothing but admiration of your courage and can-do attitude, you have taught me that life is too short for ‘if only’ and not letting life pass us by and…I love you so much.”  That was it, the dam had been broken and the tears were streaming, I looked across to the passenger seat.  “That was such a lovely speech, but look what you’ve done to me!”  She sobbed. 

“I’ve got to try and drive yet,” I replied, trying to look at the road through blurry eyes.  We composed ourselves and started off to the ferry port.  We spent the half hour trip talking about banal things, the weather, what aunt Doris was up to, the neighbour’s dog, anything to keep us from bawling again!


That half hour trip felt like it took ten minutes, we were there all too quick.  This was it – time to say goodbye.  “No more tears,” we said together grinning.  “I’m going to miss you,” she said hugging me.

“I’ll miss you too, but you’ll be home before you know it, with so many tales to tell - and don’t forget to take lots of photos.”

“I will and I’ll send them via email – if and when I can get internet connection!”  She laughed.

“And I promise to ring as soon as we dock.”

“Thank you, my phone will be welded to me until I get that first call,” I joked, even though it was true.

We stood embraced neither wanting to let go, but she gently pushed us apart, she had to go now.  “Take care darling, bye for now – love you”, she smiled weakly and walked over to check in, tugging her over-stuffed case behind her.  “I love you too mum!”  I called out, she didn’t turn around but, indicated she’d heard me by thrusting her hand in the air and waving vigorously.


I sighed, my 59 year old mother had gone on an adventure of a life time, good for her, I thought.  The last couple of years had been tough for her, what with dad dying and then meeting that awful man who’d almost left her ruined.  But she picked herself up, dusted herself down and is doing something she’d always dreamed of.  I dabbed at my eyes – they’d been leaking again – and started the drive home.  I needed to get ready for work and I must remember to pack my gym kit, thanks mother for enrolling me in Zumba lessons!  I rolled my eyes, she was still thinking of me when she’s not even here.  Bon voyage mum.


Submitted: February 22, 2016

© Copyright 2020 Nicola Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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