"Have we lost them?" I wondered as I lay in bed, wide awake as usual at 4:00 am the other morning. "How will we ever find them?"
For whatever reason, I had awakened thinking of the family with whom my Windy City University Son had spent his 11th grade year when he was a student in Rennes, France. Our families had spent Christmas together and I had immediately come to love his French mother, who took such good care of the 17-year-old we had sent across the ocean in the immediate wake of 9/11, and the rest of her family. However, our relationship had quickly simmered down to the annual Christmas card, and none had been exchanged this past year. I knew they had already moved once, and I wondered, in the midst of our own holiday business, whether they were still in Vitre.
And then yesterday, a Christmas card in Marithe's familiar handwriting arrived for my son, this time from Taillis. I opened it shamelessly, unable to wait the few days it would take me to forward it to Chicago, and read it aloud to my son, who was able to translate the sections that were a mystery to me. "Our" French family came alive to me again: the cozy apartment and the Christmas Eve feast, the meanderings through Rennes with the French brothers, the kids off to see Lord of the Rings en francais one evening.
I am trying to go to seminary. I have not yet paid for the class I am taking this semester, let alone my library fine. I am trying not to spend money. And so where was I this morning? Online, looking for tickets to Paris. My son will have a short break between his graduation in March and beginning his first real job, the demands of which will preclude travel for him as surely as funding does for me. Hmmm. The prices for spring travel are too high.
I haven't given up, though.