Tomorrow morning I am flying to Kenya to spend a week, with my eldest daughter, at an elephant orphanage in Nairobi. This is a lifetime dream of mine! I adore elephants and for some reason, they have always been so special to me. I can remember being a little girl, probably no older than 5 or 6 and watching a documentary with my dad on the TV: a baby elephant was orphaned and as it cried for it’s mama, I sobbed. I was heartbroken for this little child; I felt it’s pain. Elephants are such sentient animals: they are intelligent, they are family orientated, they are some of the best mothers on earth and have such strong emotions…what’s not to love?
It’s hard leaving my husband and my kids but they are genuinely all so cool about it! This trip is so far out of my comfort zone though that it’s not true! But since I battled cancer earlier this year, as my daughter pointed, I have kind of turned into the “Yes Man”: this trip would have stayed on my bucket list for the rest of my life! I rarely say no to anything now.
But whilst everyone is happy for me, I’m so emotional. Lizzie has gone back to hospital this evening and I can’t help but feel like I’m deserting her. Of course, she says it’s fine and that “It’s only a week”, but I feel like that piece of silk thread that connects us is so stretched that it’s tightening around me. I think I have a attachment issues! I truly struggle with leaving her care to others: I don’t mean her day to day care, her situation has determined that I have had to adapt to that to survive, but who will be her cushion, her battering ram, her sounding board? Who will give her the unconditional love whilst I’m away. There is nothing rational about this: daddy will go and see her during the week whilst I’m away and she will be home on leave again next weekend. That’s not the point. Not for me.
I’ve talked a lot in the past about how important it is to not feel guilt when you do stuff for yourself: this isn’t just guilt; it’s pure anguish at leaving my baby. It’s fear that I won’t be here to see a tiny decline, a small step forwards, that I won’t be able to stop it if things spiral downwards for her. It’s not wanting to take my eye off her for a second.
Huge conflict: I am so priveledged to be making this trip. I have to enjoy every single second of it, and I will of course. But I am torn, and nothing I tell myself will rationalise that!
See you in a week or so: stay strong x