Several months ago my wife – who was born and brought up in Hong Kong – got word that her secondary school was holding it’s 50th anniversary celebrations and all alumni were invited. She has kept in touch with many of her classmates – they were the first year group to go all the way through the school, and are very close. As the months passed the momentum for a massive reunion built up and soon all of the classmates had committed to go. A new ‘whats app’ circle was created and pretty soon floods of comments, exciting news and enthusiasm dominated every day communications in our household.
Flights were booked, hotels were identified. We decided that I should go for a few days with her, a holiday of our own, and then I said I would leave her to it when the real celebrations started – 4 days of partying was planned, some formal, some less so. The planning lasted many months with both of us looking forward so much to the trip.
Every detail was pored over – from what we would do on our 4 days together, to what dress she would wear to the formal Grand Ball! I would be long gone by then and it would be a ‘friends paradise’ ! Best left alone by me ! Hotels were booked well in advance, seats on planes secured, every detail ticked off.
The months became weeks, the weeks became days. I planned my medication cycle so that I would feel as well as possible for the trip, my wife planned every detail of the visit, her clothes, her case contents, her make up ….. over and over again – much debate, much contact with friends – “what will you wear?”
Eventually the day of the trip arrived and we were up at 4am to catch the Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong – the adventure had begun. From day one it was fabulous. We really enjoyed our time together even as the flurries of ‘whats apps’ deluged her phone daily. After a lovely four days – in which I had the pleasure of meeting some of the friends she had spoken about over the years, it was time for me to leave, and time for the ‘partying’ to begin. As I flew home her weekend of nostalgia and fun, of excitement and laughter began in earnest.
I won’t go into the detail of her fabulous four days – suffice to say it was everything she hoped it would be – and more.
She returned home on the fifth day, tired but exhilarated. Everything had gone so well. The grandeur, the fun times, the emotions – all surpassed expectations. She was radiant.
It is now a week since her return, and all the planning, the looking forward, the talking incessantly about we/she will do – is over.
That’s the thing about time – it marches on. It is coming, it is soon here, and then it is gone. Every moment must be cherished. What is left, however are the memories and in the end memories sustain us.