First I wanted to apologize for not keeping up with our posts. We are under some stress, more than the usual moving to a new country may produce and as a result we lay low, but we do have some distractions of course.
Lets start with…
On a happy note:
Daniel’s delivery service is still up and running. He has 5 clients, and as soon as our apartment rental is complete and occupied, his job each morning will be to go up to the bakery in the square to retrieve the tenants breakfast. He has already managed to save 16 Euros, mostly through tips and extra trips to the grocery store for me and is well on his way to buying his dream BMX bike. Once he saves 100 Euros, we will match it and off to Decathlon we go!
My little entrepreneur makes me very proud. I only hope he is learning the true value of a dollar, having to work and earn the money for his new bike and not just receive whatever his heart desires.
Our house is under construction with a fine layer of dust on everything as well the purchased items for the B&B apartment are in boxes throughout our home. I constantly clean and move things around, trying to make sense of it all. But mess means progress, so it makes me smile. 🙂
South Westy our Westfalia rental business is still in the waiting stage. Our Hungarian van sits waiting for French plates, the paperwork lost in the French bureaucratic system either to never be seen again or with some luck miraculously come together in the nick of time for the season. Either way we wait and see. Turning away weeks of rental income during the waiting period has left me frustrated and gritting my teeth. No one listens when I stomp my feet demanding action so I just breathe and think ‘c’est la vie’. Alfonz has an appointment this coming week to get things straightened out. At least there is progress.
On a not so happy note:
It is strange that even under the most complicated circumstances, our decision to move to the Languedoc solidifies as our best course of action, even after yet another family tragedy hits.
We are asked all the time, what is the most difficult part of moving away from Canada leaving our friends and family behind. The answer would be, missing out on the important events. We find ourselves too far to share in the joyess moments like the birth of a new child close to my heart or to share in the sad ritual of putting someone to rest.
We are not there to partake in the events we normally would, and that is definitely the hardest part.
Alfonz’s father, Alfonz Hamori II, died April 23rd, after a fearless battle with cancer, surrounded by his close family. He was just sixty-one years young. He fought right to the end, surprising us all by his determination, hanging on to the last moments until he couldn’t fight any longer.
I am forever grateful to my father-in-law. He produced my favourite person, bringing my lovely husband into this world. Alfonz’s truly the love of my life, and each day I get to spend with him is a blessing. I couldn’t imagine my life without him let alone loosing him at 61. So this grave loss for him breaks my heart. There are no words to comfort a spouse going through loosing a parent when only time can heal the wound.
We grin as we listen to the song ‘I did it my way’ by Frank Sinatra; a fitting song. Alfonz Senior did it his way, good or bad, he played by his own rules. He loved hard, fought hard, and played hard.
That makes three people in our family passing away before retirement in the last three years. We also lost three grandparents in 2011. It has been a tough road, but I remember the famous proverb, ‘This too shall pass’. It reminds me everything is temporary; elated happiness, deep sorrow, or blissful joy all must come to an end.
I just pray for a wee bit of calm so we can recover, and then prepare for the next moment- those moments we came all the way to France to find and enjoy. Right now we lay still, lay low, and recoup. We reline our men just to see if we can make it to the next brigade.
My uncle, stepfather and father-in-law’s deaths sit heavy against my heart. These three men worked hard their whole lives and never made it to their golden years. Three people that paid into a system that promised them a rest at the end. Instead they worked themselves to death. It is sad.
If you knew you weren’t likely to reach retirement, would you live differently now?
Maybe similar to the 1950’s template of life, Leave It To Beaver, except Mr. Cleaver would be running a rental apartment above the garage. This is my dream.
It doesn’t matter at the end of your life how many cars you have, the square footage of your house or the clothes in your closet. What will matter (for me anyway) are those times spent with the kids, and the time we spent doing the things we truly love.
All the jobs I thought were so important, the bosses I tried to please and the proverbial ladder I tried to climb, only meant anything to me if it brought joy. Otherwise the stress, the time away and even the money were not worth it.
If you do what you truly enjoy doing everything else is supposed to fall into place.
We test the theory as we live our best life in south France. We cross our fingers that the giant leap of faith will be worth it in the end.
Not everyone will pack up and move across the world to find a new life, but maybe someone will use happiness as his or her motive for change. Someone may read this and realize, like we did, that life is truly short and that now is the time to go out and find happiness before it is too late.
Our family is staying close to home.
I wanted to thank all the kind words sent to our family over the last week and to the people that stopped by to express their condolences.
It has been a well needed distraction and one I am grateful for.
Still pursuing happiness,