To just simply live

The days prior to Marta and her family’s departure from Scotland were full of the constant presence of their friends. “I asked myself if we did had done anything particularly special during our years here…” This is what she discovered.

The day we locked the doors of our house in Scotland to move to England, my husband, my children and myself were not only tired from the extremely intense days before the move but also heartbroken for leaving what had been a wonderful experience of familiarity, friendship and growth. At the same time, however, this reinforced our hope and openness for the great adventure of our life.

The days before leaving were full of the constant presence of our friends meeting up with us, and even organizing parties for us, in ways that would strike even the most hardened hearts.

Some of the restrictions were still in place and people were taking turns to visit us, bringing flowers, cards, framed pictures, icons, books. We received gifts, gadgets, and shared meals with friends. The mum of my son’s friend came to our house in the rain one morning to spend time with me; she was all wet and she hugged me in tears. My children’s friends and their mums came to our house to celebrate and we played in the garden. A family even organized a tea party in their garden with some other families from the primary school. A family of friends invited us to their house and cooked an Italian-Scottish dinner and their kids made drawings for us. They gave us a very nice picture of a modernized version of Saint Mungo, the protector of Glasgow, because “they became interested in his life after hearing about him from us.” Our parish priest, who we gifted an icon to, mentioned us in all his masses for a month before the move, asking the congregation to remember “their Italian friends.” He also wrote a letter of recommendation to our children’s new school and gave us an icon of Saint Andrew with a beautiful message. Our children’s headteacher and children celebrated the kids in school…

We received lots of cards and messages. Someone even wrote to me: “I can guarantee that not only me but also everyone who got to know you became a better person by your friendship”.

I asked myself if we did had done anything particularly special during our years in Scotland.

I think we simply just lived. We lived as we saw other friends living, and so far we have been taught to live in the certainty that our path is the most intriguing; it is difficult yet easy, and everlasting. Another thing that helped me very much was the closeness to our kids. They were not very enthusiastic about moving and I was worried about the logistics of it all. Where they would stay during the days of the move so that they would not be overwhelmed – or maybe worse, so that they would not be a further nuisance? I did not find any solutions that were affordable and this was a nice discovery for me. By moving with them, by walking by their side, I learnt how much more convenient it is not to choose the ‘easy way out’ but to adhere to reality.

They helped us with everything, from packing their things, to lifting the boxes they were able to, ordering a last minute pizza from the best place in the town, and saying goodbye to all our friends they cared about in a special way. I appreciated them and my desire to live their presence very intensely has grown since then.

Marta, Colchester, United Kingdom