A Real French Community

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

So since I got back home I've been totally overwhelmed by the level of help & support I've been given from my friends & neighbours in my village.

I currently have a friend who brings me fresh bread every morning, does my ironing, takes the little one out for a walk & will bring me anything I need from the local epicerie (the owner of which is also a friend & would deliver anything I wanted anyway)

I also have a very good friend who has been taking the little one out every morning or evening to play with her boys, have a good walk round the village to stretch her legs, who goes shopping to the supermarket for me (to avoid my husband having to do it at the weekend) and who bless her, brings me & the little one a hot lunch every day. On the days she can't do it, her mum steps in or another friend brings me lunch. I just don't know how to repay such generosity.

My friends who run the cafe have also offered to bring me cooked meals over (Thursday evening I'm having parmentier d'agneau - they know I like this) & Friday we will have Salmon.

At least 10 people have offered to run me to hospital should the time arrive for me to make a sharp exit & my husband isn't back for the new arrival (highly likely but I'm holding on to the hope that baby Fitzgerald will wait till a Friday to start his/her exit) and another 3 to look after the little one so I have plenty of people I can rely on.

And when my lovely Medecin heard about my problems, she came out to see me, phoned my consultant at the hospital directly to make an appointment toute suite for a Sunday so hubbie is with me (my attempts with the secretary failed miserably for any day before end of November even though I explained the situation & due date of 4th Nov!), arranged for a mid-wife to visit me at least twice weekly at home to 'faire le monitoring' and practice breathing techniques (as I haven't been able to go to preparation classes this time round & I'm worried I've forgotten how to breathe properly) AND she arranged for me to have an auxiliare de vie (home help) for 2 hours a day to come in & clean, care for the little one & do whatever I need to make my life easier. Some of this is paid for by CAF, some hopefully will be covered by our top up health insurance (another blog to come on this one) and the rest my husband has said we can cover as it makes my life easier & allows me to rest more.

The luxury of having a shower on my own is one of the simplest pleasures I can't describe enough (before anyone thinks this is a normal boring day to day activity - let me tell you when you have a small child clinging to your legs wanting to be picked up & play with ducks and you are the shape of a petite Mr Greedy it's not that easy!)

So I have to say a great big thank you to them - but I just don't know how to say thank you enough. I am certain that I would not have had this much support where I used to live in the UK (even though it was a nice Surrey market town). The sense of community here is so strong & I feel totally accepted & thoroughly spoilt.

Vive La France!

(Catharine Higginson) #2

That is so great to read and nice to hear that you have so much support around you. And TOTALLY with you on the shower thing!! x