I’ve become a very patient woman.

I’ve become a very patient woman. How to explain that in the last two years our family has endured upheavals and difficulties that, even five years ago, would have torn me apart. Yet now, I am more relaxed, much happier and more accepting of all circumstances. Even awful times make me grateful for the good times, and for every shaft of light that settles on my face after a hard day.

My mother is unwell, and it is not much of an exaggeration to say that the stress of the last two years has been a major contributor to her fragile health. I really hope that she recovers. And I hope that soon, all the legal wrangles that we have endured will be at an end; or at least, at a place where we can think about our father and brother without worrying about legal niceties.

I trained as a lawyer, which I used to say was a pity, a wrong turning I took on the road, a major detour that marred two decades of my life. Now, I’m not so categorical. I am immensely grateful that, working from home, I have been able to field and read countless emails from firms of notaries in French, Flemish and English, that I have been able to listen to my mother’s questions and advice, and hopefully reassure her that, yes, everything will soon be sorted out. (In this process I have also learned that soon is relative and one might as well ask, ‘How long is a piece of string?’ but that is perhaps a story for another day.) And through a maze of labyrinthine complexity, my legal training has helped me to keep my cool and to persist with legal nit-picks. I have been upset, I have even broken down a couple of times, but given the pressures, that is good odds, and I am pleased with this sign of progress.

Your prayers for my mother’s recovery would be so appreciated. ‘And so we go on rejoicing’ as she would say.

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