The 20th October 2010. A crossroads, a major event, our court date that has taken nearly two years to materialise. Yet...
I settled out of court in the end. It was last minute and 'to the wire'. Part of me couldn't face going to court and the other half couldn't face the outcome if we went. My solicitor told me I was mad and could have got what I was entitled to had I continued to fight. But at what cost? I asked her; to her it was just another day at the office.
I may regret my decision one day, but now it is too late. I settled for less and he gets to keep his precious house. The children are overjoyed that they will not have to loose their home again. For that reason alone I have done the right thing, for now.
The outcome is, though, that I may never get on the property ladder again in my own right. I have this dream you see, of a cottage in the countryside, of roses and flowers and animals and endless sunny days. I feel the need to complete my journey to that place, yet it is such a selfish dream. Those I tangle along with have other dreams and other places to go, yet the dream is strong, and one I could not make happen in my last life. It is, perhaps, a foolish dream and one which (I have suddenly remembered) my Mother also had, when she was younger.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, my Mother has made her own Christmas cake, as did her mother before her. When I was little I used to love to watch her mix up the magical cake, the first step towards the best time of the year when you are small! And before she lovingly put the mixture, all sticky and sweet smelling, into the baking tin, I was given 'a wish and a stir'. I would hold the wooden spoon in my small hand, and with my eyes tight shut, I would stir and make a wish. A wish never to be told.
I wished the same thing year after year. I wonder if she every guessed my wish? I think not, for I wished that my Mother should eventually live the cottage that she had always wanted, and I wished so hard for roses around the door and happiness all around. I still do wish, against all odds, even now; knowing that they are as elusive as a dream is impossible. My Mother has never lived in that cottage and gave up her dream long ago, though she is lucky enough to be comfortable now in her bungalow, and that is a blessing.
So this coming week, while the children and I are on our Half Term holidays, I will mix up the Christmas cake mixture, all sweet smelling and sticky with spice and brandy and cherries and fruit. And I will pass the wooden spoon to Tall Girl and then to Small Sprog and, in turn, they will make their wish. Small Sprogs wishes are hard and true. He closes his eyes tight shut and wishes with all his might. I may never know what he wishes for, but whatever it is for both of them, they truly deserve it all.