Please excuse my absence from my blog and from yours. The past month has lasted a year for me. I have had to make decisions and take actions that I had never even considered. I have questioned my role as a parent, as a friend and even as a person in doing so.

This week I sent my sobbing, heart-broken daughter back to France. She went because I asked her to go. I made a decision for her knowing that it was beyond her capacity right now to decide for herself. I held her hand, I stroked her hair and I made a decision that I know was the right one. I don’t feel any satisfaction in making it. I don’t feel justified or right. I feel like the air is too thin to breathe and the sun is too cold to warm me. I lay exhausted in bed unable to find sleep as I think of her flying alone for almost thirty hours to a place that she believes she doesn’t want to be and to people she believes she doesn’t want to see.

In seven short weeks we will be in France with her. The world will turn so many times between now and then, and every turn brings change. I know that she is clinging to that timeline as tightly as I am. I am wishing time away to get me closer to my own thirty hour flight.

I spent one day this week re-reading my blog. I am surprised at how I often write with honesty. I have a filter here, I could choose not to publish my every thought. I am finding, though, that I cannot write anything, until this is written. These thoughts are consuming too much of my mind and writing them here is intended to relieve them.

I hope to be back to myself soon. I want to think about other stuff now.


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24 responses to “Acknowledging

  1. It’s tough to be the mum. You’re doing a great job, really you are, in the toughest of circumstances. You have my whole-hearted admiration.

    Caroline xx

  2. Know that there many of us that feel this pain with you both. Even though we don’t really know eachother and our worlds are so far apart know that my heart reaches out to you. I admire your ability to use this place to help you deal with all of this. I wish that I too could do the same. Your a good mummy and time will pass and before you know it your trip will come and go and after that she will be home for good … but that doesn’t help does it.

  3. Hope the time passes quickly. Parenting hell sucks.

  4. The cliche about parenting being the hardest job in the world is a cliche for a reason. Thinking of you, and Ashleigh.

  5. I’m so sorry you had to make this choice – but I trust your instincts and know you’ve made the right decision.

  6. I send you my love. It is not much but it is all I can offer at this profoundly difficult time for you all.

  7. Oh flipping heck – wish I could be with you. I take comfort in the fact that you are surrounded by family and friends and your Pete and your Pip. You have been in my thoughts so often – what a tough, tough time. You have handled it with grace, dignity and courage.

    Remember the duckling!


  8. I never believed that being a mum could be such hard and sometimes a heart-wrenching job, but it bloody well is.

    We love you Tracey – take some time out and return when you’re up to it. And by jingo ringo, you’ll be seeing your Ashleigh in 7 weeks. Fabulous.

    Keep your chin up.

  9. Being a grown up is just so hard 😦 Sending you love and hugs and support and everything that I can not put into words. Tracey, you are so strong and such an inspiration, even though you may be unaware of it.

  10. So sorry for both you and Ashleigh. It’s been a tough month for both of you. May you both find your strength soon.

  11. Here’s a big hug: ((( )))

    The blogs will keep. Wishing you and yours the best –

  12. M

    While hard, Ashleigh going back to France is the best thing. And you going to visit her in seven weeks will be even better. Blossom suffers from anxiety and I have to make many decisions for her and it sucks, especially when I have to trust that they are in her best interests.

  13. grandma

    We have spent nearly 18 years kissing away hurts and putting a band-aid on if there was blood. Nothing will fix this hurt and it is breaking our hearts.

    Ashy I know you will read this blog. You hurt more than you ever thought you would, yet you are stronger than you ever imagined you could be. You know how much you are loved, supported, even indulged, but that won’t be enough to fix this. We are here and will be here when you get home. Your aunts will continue to compete for your affection as they have done since the day you were born. Your cousins will miss you until you return home when “lots of cuddles with Ashy” will be the highlight of their day. You know you are blessed with the strongest and most supportive family – ever!

    Thank you to the one who invented blogs who has allowed us an outlet of grief and allowed you all to express your support. Thanks everyone.

  14. I’ve been wondering how things have been going for your family. Having a break in the exchange at this time is disruptive enough let alone the tragic circumstances that led to this. I was an exchange student as was one of my sisters but I can’t imagine what this must be like for you. Bon courage.

  15. Been thinking it would be hard for your daughter to return to France….But in the end I think you and she both will be glad that she did.Wishing you all well—molly.

  16. And people think that giving birth is the really hard part.
    Thoughts to you all and wishing you a very speedy seven weeks.

  17. It’s not easy being a parent and it doesn’t get any easier the older they get. You’ve done a very brave and wise thing… sending much love your way.
    G x

  18. All I can offer, is big puffy hugs, from my ever increasing Puffs!!

  19. Making the hard decisions on behalf of a child who may not be able to see the right thing to do at that point in time is what makes a great parent. And you are obviously one of the best.

    It must be hard for you all at the moment, and I’m thinking of you. I’m sure the countdown to your own trip has started in earnest.

  20. h&b

    you did the right thing


  21. Oooooh! you lucky devil! I bet it did indeed make your day. You could do with cheering up! xx

  22. ashyinfrance

    Stop feeling bad idiot. It doesn’t make time go faster. I think I’ll be sad also at some other point in my life. You didn’t make me get on that plane. If I had refused you would have let me stay.

    Feeling sad and sorry for yourself doesn’t make time go faster. I’ve tried it already when I came home the first time. That one week was the longest of my life. If you don’t look at the time it goes faster.

    I’ll be home soon enough for a long time.I want to do the shopping for that week too.

  23. Sue

    Ashleigh you made me smile, you are a good daughter.

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