Thursday, 14 November 2013

Of planes and trains and tears...

I flew out of Adelaide at 6am on Friday morning. With my exploding heart wrapped tight  so it wouldn't spill onto those beside me.

(Qantas does a nice breakfast service, by the way, if you are ever considering flights at that ungodly hour. You're welcome.)

Brisbane greeted me with sunshine, and a tiny hire car, which was saved from it's extreme petiteness by the fact that it was bright, bright red. I loved it instantly, even though the air vents rattled when I played the radio too loud. I played it too loud anyway.

Met up with my cousin and uncle, hugged them because I had no words. I still have no words that I can give them, all I have is love, and it feels like it will never be enough.

A morning ticked away as we sat, restless. Distraction was sought, and found. The Railworks Museum, a soothing balm to electric nerves and shattered hearts. A tour guide with simple words, so matter of fact, who must have wondered at our grimaces parading as smiles, as we thanked her in small voices.

Lunch. Stillness. Conversation of the mundane, the everyday. Panic rising as the clock ticked on, towards the minute we could not postpone. 

Changing, smoothing, painting on a face we could hide behind. A hundred little movements in preparation, swallowing the tears and pretending we could hold on to our dignity.

A GPS voice the only sound as I drove that little car to the chapel. Discussions over signposts and parking as we fought to put off the moment we would have to leave the little red bubble of safeness. The engine stilled, a sigh, giving in to the inevitable.

Hugs that shared our love and grief, small talk, three sets of round sad eyes that took my breath away. We walked, side by side, gently, slowly, to the chapel bathed in the light of the setting sun. 

Sat rigid, wound tight, trying so hard to be strong. 

One tear fell and then they were a torrent. A flood no amount of trying could hold back. My dignity mopped up with blue tissues. Dripping from my cheeks and splashing on my hands held tightly in my lap. Like waves racing onto the shore they were relentless, unyielding.

Some are still escaping, even now.

Goodbyes said, choked words exchanged. 

A slow drive back with bad jokes to break the silence. 

Rushing to shed the armoured skin. A taxi driver who thought he was Craig Lowndes in a minivan. Holding those dear little faces close and wishing I could soothe the pain inside.

Promising to write, promising we will always be here. Making promises to ourselves that we will never stop being there.

Laying down on hotel sheets, a 3am alarm. Showering, shedding the dust of yesterday's travel and preparing for today's. Silence in the lift. A smile from the midnight desk lady, back in that tiny red car, with the GPS my only company.

Daylight spreading as I enter the city, singing Katy Perry, loudly, badly. The long, dark, relentless airport tunnel. The beep of the toll thingy and the bustling car park.

A sip of hazelnut coffee as I wait for the call to board. People's faces - tired, excited, bored. Wondering if I look as hurt as I feel. Instagramming my knees because I don't know what else to do.

As I step onto the plane, I feel torn in two. Between my family who let me go but need me back, and those broken hearts I held so close only a few hours before.

I land, wait for my bag. Collect my car, ring Will. My big girl answers, I tell her I will be home soon. They are playing at the train park, a little voice in the background "I want to talk to mummy PLEEEEEASE". A tiny part of my heart splinters - there's no direct line to heaven, when they talk to their mummy it's a one way channel. Tears. 

36 hours after I stepped out of my back door I step through it again. Exhausted, broken, so full of the need to hold my family close it was like a searing pain through the last fifty miles.

Cans of Red Bull, friends to soothe the soul.

Sleep, blessed sleep. The never-ending tick of days passing. 

Writing as I promised. So they know my promises are true. 

Giving and loving all I can. Letting myself be loved. 

The world turns slowly again.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments make my world go round!