Around France

My French Life: Interrupted 

My French life doesn’t always go as planned. Just when I thought I would take a short visit to see family in the States and return quickly to France, I was shown how little control I have over my life.

Life Interrupted

My son’s wife and the mother of my two young grandchildren is seriously ill. After I arrived, she took the time to go to a doctor. What started last summer as soreness between her shoulders turned out to be a condition that has been going on for years. She has a tumor on her spinal cord.  Over the past weeks, we have made it through MRIs and appointments with two neurosurgeons. Today, we learn when she goes for surgery. Her case is a priority because the tumor and accumulated spinal fluid are causing damage to her system.

How’s that for a kick in the pants? Just when you think life couldn’t get any better, it doesn’t.

I’m telling you this because I want to share the lesson I’m learning.

Don’t wait to enjoy your life.

If you want to travel,  travel.

If you want to live abroad, start working on it now.  

Life doesn’t wait for you to “get around to it.” 

A piece of good news about my family situation is that I’m where I should be. Because of some kind of a stroke of fate, I didn’t have to rush to get here when I heard the news. I was here when I needed to be. I’ve been here to help with the children, the dogs, and stuff in general. I’ve been here to hold hands and to wipe away tears. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The good news is that our family is a closely bound unit. We’re bound by love and faith. We laugh together, and we pray together. It’s been the laughs and the prayers that have helped us through the last few weeks. Our fears have been many. What would the scans show?  Could it be the “big C”? We are encouraged. The rest is unknown until after the surgery.

It’s possible you might not hear from me as much as I’d like to keep you informed.  A one-year-old and a three-year-old take a lot of attention and energy. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to write about some of the places I visited before I left my French life.  It might be a good diversion. Either way,  I shall return. 

Stay tuned…

French life

Categories: Around France

87 replies »

  1. Deborah – so sorry to hear but I’m so glad you’re there where you can help and support. I hope you get good news soon. So very difficult when something happens to our family members. Stay strong.

    • Thank you for your note. Surgery is next week so we’re at least a little closer to a resolution. Better days are ahead.

    • So appreciated. Good news today is that surgery is scheduled for Sept. 5. Those positive thoughts are getting us through this.

  2. Deborah! Dear, dear Deborah! I’ve just seen this now. Thank goodness you are there with your family. I know what a tower of strength you will be, through these trying days. I’m going to email you. Keeping all of you in my heart and thoughts. <3

  3. Hello Debby, I am so sorry to hear of your daughter-in-law’s situation. I will keep her and you all in my prayers. I met you and your friends in a little restaurant on my first evening in Uzes! You were so kind to me, you walked around the town with me and gave me lots of tips. We met again for coffee with some expats. Life has been hectic but I read your blog when I can. Thank you for your kindness, Debby, and I do hope all goes well with your daughter-in-law’s operation . Mary Gardiner Wimbledon, London

    • Yes, Mary, I remember you well. So glad to have met you and wish we could have had more time. Time is such an important commodity, isn’t it. We shouldn’t waste a moment. Hope you’ll visit again. Thanks for you note and kind words.

  4. Deborah, so very sorry to hear of your daughter-in-laws’s illness. As you said, how fortunate you were there at just the time when you were needed so much – that must have been such a comfort for your son and the family. Matt and I will keep her in our prayers.

    • We were hoping to know more today. Surgeons are conferencing on best approach. Our hearts are in their hands. Thank you for your support and prayers.

    • Deborah, I didn’t realise that was an anonymous comment. It’s Jenny and Matt from Australia (stayed at Petra’s last year)

      • Thank you for clarifying, Jenny. So happy to hear from you. We have a surgery date now –Sept 5 –I know it’ll all go well and I’ll leave for France on Sept. 30. Keep those positive vibes coming this way!

  5. I am so sorry to read that. I am sending you all my good thoughts and hope everything will be fine for your family 🙏

    • I’m so sorry I might not be in Uzes to greet you. But I’ll be there before too long, I’m sure. Enjoy it for the both of us and let me know how it’s going for you. Thank you for your concern and prayers.

    • Thank you, Beth. I’ll keep you posted. Don’t overdo it when you get started on your remodeling. Thinking of you, too.

  6. Oh Deborah, so sorry to hear this. It is such a blessing that you are here in the States to be help and support for your family.
    I will be sending prayers for you and your family. Love and strength to you all.

  7. I am so sorry to learn this, Barb. I hope this turns out in the best possible way for your family. My positive thoughts are heading your way. I am also sorry we won’t be meeting you, as I had hoped, this October in Uzes. But you are where you need to be. Best wishes to you all. Elen

    • I’m not giving up on being back in Uzes in October so please stay in touch. Thank you so much for your note and good wishes.

  8. Deborah great post and we are with you and hoping that all is going to be OK. We miss you but know you are needed elsewhere so take care and we will hug you on your return. Yes, enjoy life each day because you never know what tomorrow may bring!!!

    • You know how much you and Paula mean to me…family. I appreciate your love and support. Just keep drinking that wine and thinking me back. Hugs

  9. Such bad news but how lucky that you can be there to support everyone. Your advice is wonderful and !’ll try harder to put it in practice. Uzes will always be here for you. Barbara

    • I think about my little tower apartment and how much I miss it. Yet I wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else on the world right now. I’ll return, I’m sure. Everything’s going to work out.

  10. First I want to say, I recently discovered you after my cooking school experience end of June. Secondly, I am so very sorry you and your family are facing this. I will remember you in my prayers. Lastly, I have been going to Uzes (well actually only four times) since 2005. Love everything about it and started making my plans to move there. I was thinking after the winter months, but your message made me think s little differently. Do you need someone to sublet your apartment? If that is something you need to consider, will you please contact me.

    As I said, I will keep you in my thoughts. Only good strong positive thoughts.

    • Thank you for following the blog, Candee. Hopefully it will give you some ideas of places to see and visit while you’re in the south of France. Actually, I love Uzes in the winter. It’s so quiet and it’s a time when those who live there really get to enjoy each other. Thanks, too, for the sublet offer. I’ll definitely keep you in mind. Hopefully I’ll be there myself, but all options are open. Stay in touch and let me know your plans.

  11. Thank you for sharing!
    I only recently found your blog and I am looking forward to continue follow it. I am also a solo traveller and I recognize myself in much of what you write about.
    Bonne courage
    Christa Aurusell

    • Thank you for following the blog. It’s a blessing to me to have such good friends who reach out to me with their life stories and dreams. I look forward to hearing about your travels.

  12. Very best wishes to you and your Family❣️❣️🙏 You’re so right –life can change in an instant–we just never know! We’ve had similar situation in our lives— Keep us posted👍‼️

    • Thank you, Lu Ann. We all face hardships and we’re humbled. It’s getting to the other side that makes us stronger. I’ll definitely keep you posted!

  13. I wish your daughter-in-law all the best. You are very fortunate to have each other at this time…and if you’re in the RTP area, you have access to the best medical care around. Thanks for taking the time, in the midst of it all, to share this valuable reminder and life lesson with the rest of us. Y’all are in my thoughts.

    • We’re actually in Atlanta and the surgeon is at Emory so we feel she’s in good hands. The wait is difficult. Better days are just ahead. I feel so blessed to have your good wishes. Thank you.

  14. Life certainly is definitely not a dress rehearsal. You and your family are in my prayers. You were so kind to me when I was in France. Our discussions were so meaningful to me. You offered sage advice. Thank you for being you.

    God Bless.


    • You are such an angel for your kind words at this time. Please stay in touch and let me know how you are. Thank you.

  15. Wise words… life is so short. So sorry to hear about your daughter-in-law. Hope things get better for her soon! That’s not easy for anyone involved. ;-(

    • We’re working on being patient. Not one of my best virtues. Your kind words certainly help. Thank you.

  16. Dear Deb, I don’t get your posts on Facebook any more, and have only had a couple of emails. I am Sue Ferguson. I don’t expect you remember, but I’m Linda Robertson’s former sister in law. Had to write and tell you that I wish you and your family a happy outcome to this situation, please know that you are very much in my hopes and my prayers and I wish you all the very best, with love and all good wishes, Sue

    • So glad to hear from you, Sue. I do appreciate your reaching out to touch us. My family is so grateful.

  17. So sorry to hear the news. I know your family is blessed to have you there. Hope all goes well with the surgery and life gets back to normal for all of you. You got a chance to live your dream and will always have the awesome memories and photos!
    Joan Delise

    • You know, that’s exactly why I write the blog. To help remind me of the best of times. I’m convinced it will all come out well. Thank you!

  18. I am sending you strength and positive thoughts as you support your son, his wife, and their children during the challenges ahead, Deborah. I appreciate your reminder to enjoy life NOW and live the dream, whatever it may be. Thank you for your generosity of advice, recommendations, and personal experiences. Your family is so fortunate to have you there!

    • Oh how much we need strength and positive thoughts. The uncertainty is difficult but with all the good wishes, it will all work out. Thank you!

  19. Deborah. I’m am so sorry to hear about your Daughter in Law. I hope she’s able to bounce back quickly and Put this whole situation behind her. It’s great that you happen to be here during this time and are able to stay for the duration. You may recall, I moved to NC a few years ago to be with my mother during her battle with cancer. She passed last year unfortunately; but it has motivated me to do exactly as you mentioned, and we are currently looking to buy property in France. I’ve actually been meaning to reach out to you, as were considering something in the southern region, maybe within driving distance to the beach, and was looking for any advice you may have. I’ll send you an email sometime and no rush to get back to me. I wish your family the best. I know they’re extremely grateful to have you here. Regards, Krystal

  20. Oh, Deborah! So sorry to hear about your daughter-in-law. As you say, how fortuitous that you are there. And how fortunate your family is to be able to find strength together. Gord and I will be keeping you and your family in our thoughts. Take care of yourself. (And thank you for the very wise words about not waiting to enjoy life. We have always admired your zest for life and your bravery in approaching uncertainty, and thought “we could never be that brave”). Bises, Maria

    • Maria, I’m convinced there is no other way. I don’t think of it as bravery. Just another way of looking at life and circumstances. Thank you for your kindness.

  21. I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this but pleased that you are there to help all of them at this difficult time.. They must be so pleased to have you with them. I’m sending healing thoughts and hope her surgery is soon and she has an uneventful recovery.

  22. Bon courage Debbie! Your philosophy is right on target. I do hope your daughter-in-law does well in her surgery and am wishing you and your family all good things. Meanwhile, enjoy those babies, as I know you will! xx

  23. Deborah, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am happy you can be there for them. France will still be there when the time is right. Xoxo

    • Yes, I’m looking forward to us all being in France. They’ve promised next year to visit for the French Open. Thanks, Teri.

    • I’m so disappointed not to see you. There will be another time and place I’m sure. Enjoy yourselves!

  24. Ohhh Debs…what can one say to news like that…sooo very sorry to hear that…let’s think positive thoughts…my thoughts are with you and your nearest and dearest…x

  25. Hello,
    You are right, we just never know. It is important that you can be there especially at this time. The best of luck with the surgery and for your daughter in law to return to her family, healthy, as soon as possible.

    • Thank you, Celine. We are anxious for information but thankful for each other and those who have reached out to us.

  26. Hi Debby, I just read your blog and even though we have only corresponded once by email, I have been closely following your journey. Sending prayers to you and your family and positive thoughts that tests will come out OK and your daughter in law will be well soon. I know you must be a strength for them at this time . Take care of yourself too. Being so open and sharing your life touches many people in the best way. I keep this quote with me and look at it during tough times: ” When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: either there will be ground to stand on or you will be given wings to fly! “Wishing the best for you and your family.

  27. Received the news of a loved one’s death hours ago. Your message couldn’t be more timely. SO important to live every moment as if it’s your last. Thanks for the reminder. Love and courage to you.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss and glad this met you at your sad time. Thank you so much for your note. Love and courage to you, too.

  28. Wishing your daughter in law a very positive outcome. It was fortunate that you are there to give help and strength to your family. Love, strength and best wishes to all of you.

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