Friday, 9 March 2012

The Surrogate Speaker


Today my daughter turns 21 years old and I'm not there. It's a source of sadness for both of us. I know she worries about all the events and milestones in her life that I might miss; never get to share because of distance. I never imagined I'd be separated from her by 20,000 kms. It happens in some families - I just didn't think it would be me. Kids move overseas all the time looking for work or holidays or adventure but in this instance it was me who moved, not her.


I wracked my brain for ways to show her she is always close to me in my heart. I wanted to make a book of her life but I don't have the means. She was born before digital cameras and I don't have a scanner or a printer. I'm realising how important it is now to convert precious memories into formats that can be digitally stored, and even improved. I've got many hundreds, possibly a couple of thousand photos that need to be digitalised.


Most photos I have of her are on photographic paper. Some are negatives. Some of the digital photos I have of her are very low-res. Technology marches forward so fast these days I can certainly see the difference in quality between my older digital photos and my current ones.

So instead of a book I created a large poster and had it printed online from what little I did have - recent shots of her sprinkled with little momentos of her old home and garden, her great-grandmother, her cat, her birth (well, 2 days after it).... Just to acknowledge that a 21st is a milestone and a time to look back on life and how she has become a woman. Her present arrived safely in Auckland, what a relief, with the French lingerie tucked inside.


She's having a party at her father's place and I'm sure there will be speeches and lots of humour. Unable to stand beside her and give a little speech about her I decided to contact her boyfriend on Facebook. I've never met him but he seems to treat her well. He agreed to read out a letter/speech I've written for her, celebrating so many great memories we shared and telling her how I feel about her in my heart. He's nervous about speaking but I'm sure he'll do a good job.



Hopefully all goes well. I've been thinking of her, but that's not unusual. This is one of the bits about living in France that sucks! But our lives no longer revolve around each other. Who knows what's ahead in our futures.







I'm going to keep myself distracted by visiting the Saturday markets in Cafeolait. maybe I'll come across something unexpected. Spring- hurry along, I'm ready for you.

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