Thursday 11 August 2016

I took my mother to Normandy for a couple of days. My brother's friend Sybille has a countryside house there and I thought a bowl of fresh air and change of scenery would be beneficial to my mother - we thought that my father would also come but understood that he would enjoy a much-needed little break just by himself. My brother had already been spending some time there with Mathilde and their son.
We ordered a taxi to drive us to the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. My mother has barely gone to Paris in the past few years, except for the occasional lunch or dinner in the 13th arrondissement's Chinatown.
"Oh! Jardin des Plantes! Rue de Rivoli! The Louvres! ..." My mother still could recognise those Parisian landmarks. She was as excited as as little child. "It has changed so much... I remember when..."

The journey to Normandy was smooth. Conversation was in a loop: Where was father? Where did we go? Where was home? Finally we reached our destination, a small town in Normandy where my brother was supposed to pick us up. A little visit to watch Vũ An riding a poney, then back to the house where we rested and prepared dinner. My mother played football with her grandson, we played cards and other games, we read stories for him, had long walks in the area. The landscape, if not strikingly beautiful was very calming and peaceful. 
I don't know whether we will have other opportunities to go out of Paris like this again.
My mother kept asking about father. She now barely spends any time without him. Being in a strange house, out of her familiarity must have caused some disturbances. Nevertheless she seemed happy to be with her two sons and enjoy extended time with her grandson.
To me, that is priceless.


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