There is Always an Upside



It was our last adventure day on our European trip to see his cousin living in Geneva for the summer doing an internship. We all chose to take the train from Geneva to Anncey in France. I asked my son to write in the journal my speech therapist gave me. I asked him to do it last night, but he was busy texting and watching Hawaii Five O in English now that we switched hotels. He promised he would do it today on the train with his scholarly cousin as motivation. It is amazing to me that the three of us are on a train from Geneva headed to Annecy, the French Venice, traveling through the wine country.

It was only a short time ago that my nephew was texting me when I could not even talk or write at all. The idea of ever getting back out on my own was far away in my mind, if at all. My thoughts were much closer and involved basics, is today the day I get to go home, what does that even look like? I was so shell shocked, traumatized really that home seemed unsafe and the hospitals scary, all I had was my mind.

I am asking Glenn to write about his first European adventure, hopefully not his last. It will mean something some day as he looks back on it. He is trying and I love seeing his pen to paper as he goes about it while I type.

We have traveled by planes, trains, buses, cars and on foot. He has experienced what it is like not to have your own car as we are use to at home. You have to think differently and plan out your schedule based on what is available and you can afford.

He has seen the importance of learning languages and working through not being able to be understood or how to bridge understating to make your way through daily activities. He felt privileged when our next hotel had an English speaking staff. I am glad our first hotel and area did not for him to feel the culture. He saw that it is possible to work your way around it using nonverbal communication and the kindness of others. I hope he now has more empathy if he sees someone struggling in the future to be understood and helps them.

Vineyards blanket the countryside as we speed along through the valley with mountains on both sides of us. We are low in the valley and riding comfortably on the train. We just passed a town where the Tour de France was expected to come through as campers crowed the town and tractor trailers with Tour de France logo abound. We had no idea and it was an unexpected spotting. Culoz or Viones not sure which one, confirmed by our scholar Culoz is on the route. The end spot for today.

I am tired as our trip is coming to a close, today is our last adventure. We made the right choice to take a pretty train ride together, relaxing and beautiful. It is up to my speed today.

What came next was a beautiful walk around Anncey with lunch on one of the pretty canals, a boat ride on the lake to view another gorgeous castle while watching cliff jumpers with parachutes. People enjoying the green water and hot sun by boat, on the beach or jumping off a cliff.

We sat at a cafe and I downed two iced, yes iced teas with lemon thoroughly enjoying our last day. We walked to the train and I spotted a wedding dress, ah there it is, what I came here to find. The sign I needed that all I really want I have. It’s time to move forward, set a date, get a dress as the next big adventure will be our wedding.

This trip healed the part of my soul that was a little lost. I had left it in a castle twenty six years ago and it took Chateau de Divonne to find it. I am forever grateful for the opportunities my life keeps on having as the card on my fridge says “all who wander are not lost.”  Heartbroken, yes, but not lost as you have to keep going Over, Under and Through to heal and experience the upside. As I always say, “there is always an upside.”

May my son read his journal and continue to write his amazing adventures, his heart breaks and his loves that surely will come and go along his path. We did it Buddas! Thank you for believing in me. Our walks from the village to the castle breaking bread or sitting at the bus stop talking I will cherish forever. Love you my angel, so very much.


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