I walk in your footsteps
From the very first time we kissed,
my gypsy decided that our language would be French. He wanted that our love story could be wrapped in that light trilling atmosphere and could go back to his childhood where he lived with a Roma mother who spoke French.
Maybe because of that I know about his childhood, because we shared our memories in that same language.
I was his French girl and he was my gypsy, that was all we wanted, for ever.
Only at the end before his death, I spoke some words in his German to make him smile.
We soon began to take long journeys to France that I adored too. We crossed the country almost three times a year with the car for us and our dogs to enjoy each square kilometer of that beautiful France. We pushed ourselves to the door of the Big West ‘til Britanny at the Channel.
In realty the choice was taken in a funny way, we looked at the weather satellite and located the site where the clouds were moving very fast entering through the land and that would mean more wind.
We chose the Pink Granite Coast, always the same residence to make us feel at home, with wonderful views of the ocean and vestals dressed in black who welcomed us at the parking lot when we arrived in the middle of the night, greeting us very friendly with their trilling voices
“How are you Taro, did you have a joyful trip, sweetheart?”
Without losing a second he ran directly to the front door of our suite, number 110, he felt that place as our home and didn’t let anybody enter while staying there.
During the night we experienced the effects of the moon and the tide in our tendons and nerves and blood, in the whole body, we were heavenly loud.
We always frequented the same beach, same tide, same fishermen, season after season, same oyster growers, same wind, eleven kilometers of that custom officers path, of pink granite.
We could fill our lungs, our bodies with iodine, we walked on the tide permeated, flooded, submerged, by the physical memory of that green sea water that had already retired through the Atlantic towards the African shores, waiting for our Taro that in the meantime had gone fishing together with other local dogs, feeling his roots as a Portuguese sea dog.
Crossing France alone was a fairy tale, through the deep country we could see grazing cows of those beautiful French breeds, white Charolais, and as soon as we saw some, quenchlessly excited my gypsy said
“Look darling, hundreds of them”.
I was wondering which memories came alive from those ancient transhumances from Afghanistan to Hungary.
That bloody spring we decided to go there once more, but during the whole trip I was sad to a unbearable limit. I sobbed, couldn’t drive, I sensed a devouring omen.
Usually when we arrived at the Paris ring road, I became copilot, the destinations there are indicated only with letters and numbers. This time I felt I couldn’t help, as if I did not want to find the right way. My gypsy got angry about my mood and said
“ I don’t want to hear your voice, not a word, shut up, I don’t need you
right now, I know my way alone.”
After a bit I looked up and I saw the big Eiffel Tour in front of us, we were smack in the middle of the city.
This trip was damned. I cried every day, couldn’t enjoy anything, I didn’t know why, but deep within me I was desperate.
After a few days he said
“I think I have cancer.”
It was a very aggressive cancer, he wouldn’t survive.
My voice came out from very deep inside me in screams without brakes, we couldn’t say a word, we couldn’t eat anymore.
Then, one day the unimaginable unexpected happened. A friend of ours, who is a dentist, but also a medical hypnotist called us during a little break for a session. We did it laying on those dentist armchairs and in that short time we totally changed the direction of our energy.
All that despair became love, life, gratitude for staying together for another 24 hours.
We went back to the mountain speaking with the flowers of the Alps.
It was June, time of the St. John’s lily, which is very striking and can heal wounds.
In the evening we climbed the little hill in our village and with our Southern French accent we shouted a doggerel and in that way delivered our words and hopes to the air.
It was about two drunks at the top of the main street of Marseille, singing “Pee pee my beloved companion, all the street belongs to you.”
When he got to the surgery he had to stay many days in intensive care where guests couldn’t easily enter.
Anyway, the medical staff waited for me early in the morning and I stayed ‘til 8 in the evening.
I got to know that when he opened his eyes he said “My wife…”
Nurses regularly brought me something that I never ate.
I leaned my forehead on his left foot and in that way we loved each other all day long.
At night I tried to go back home, four hours by train, to check how our dogs were doing without us and let them know that we hadn’t disappeared.
After some days, suddenly leaving the intensive care ward, I saw myself in a mirror without recognizing me, my hair had become white.
He came back home and thanks to God, hypnosis, flowers, Southern French accent and surgery he survived and everything could restart again.
A year later Mister Guillain Barré came to visit him as chronic paralysis. Against everything and everybody he could be admitted in a hollywoodian paraplegic center. Two days in that wonderful clinic and he could move his toes again and after two months of daily therapy he said to himself
“Today I will stand up, damn, and I will walk again”.
That happened in that big therapy room with fifty of those generous, marvellous therapists, everybody stopped working and they applauded him with tears in their eyes. I could hear them say
“It doesn’t happen every day”.
And still today thinking of that event, I feel deeply moved about his strength and will of staying with us beyond any reason.
I had rented an apartment with a 14 meter long terrace on the lake, so that he could resurface, mirroring himself in that water. Every night I organized a camp fire on that terrace to let him hear the popping flames and feel like his ancestors, riding on horse back, accompanying herds from the East to the West.
My gypsy was extraordinary, his mind was full of colors, I admired him with all my senses, I loved him to madness and it will never end.